Do You Need an ID? (Restrictive)

Yes. Voters need to provide a photo ID with their current name and address, or multiple documents with their current name and address if they do not have an acceptable photo ID.

Without ID, a voter may cast a provisional ballot, which will be counted only if the voter brings ID by 5 p.m. on the fifth business day after a general election that includes a federal office. For any other election, the voter must bring ID by the third business day after the polls close.

Do You Need an Excuse to Vote Absentee? (Expansive)

No excuse is required to mail in an absentee ballot; voters can also apply for permanant absentee status.

What if You Have a Felony Conviction? (Most restrictive)

Voting rights are automatically restored for people with first-time felony convictions once they have served their sentence. Those convicted of a second felony must apply to have their rights restored.

Can You Vote In Person Before Election Day? (Expansive)

Voters may cast ballots in person beginning 26 days before Election Day until the Friday before the election.



Absentee Voting Gets Easier

Nearly 17 percent of the U.S. electorate voted by mail in 2012

Voting Early More Often

36 states allow people to vote in person before Election Day

Who Loses the Right to Vote

All but two states have laws that keep felons from voting

Voter ID Laws Gain Momentum

But many are also being challenged in court

Recent Stories

Introducing “Ballot Watch”

Who's allowed to vote? And when? As the November midterms approach, find out how voting laws are changing state-by-state in our interactive database.

Where is Voter Discrimination the Worst?

Voting discrimination persists nationwide, but the worst offenders today are still southern states with a history of blocking minorities' access to the ballot, according to a new study by the National Commission on Voting Rights.

New Voter ID Laws Hit Setbacks

Courts are pushing back against laws in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Shelby decision. Several legal battles are still ahead.