Do You Need an ID? (Less restrictive)

Yes, voters must provide a valid photo ID with a signature, such as a driver's license, public assistance ID or retirement center ID. If the photo ID does not have a signature, voters must also present an ID with a signature.

Without ID, a voter may cast a provisional ballot, which will be counted if the signature matches the one on record.

Do You Need an Excuse to Vote Absentee? (Less restrictive)

No excuse is required to mail in an absentee ballot.

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

A 2011 executive order repealed automatic restoration for nonviolent felonies. Now, those convicted of most felonies may apply to have their voting rights restored five years after serving their full sentence, at which time a clemency board makes a final decision. Those convicted of more serious felonies, including murder, drug trafficking, assault and child abuse, must wait seven years before applying for restoration.

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

Voters may go to the polls 10 days before Election Day, until three days before the election. Election supervisors can choose to offer a total of 11 to 15 days of early voting for federal and state elections. Some elections are held entirely by mail.



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.