Do You Need an ID? (Most restrictive)

Yes, voters must present a federal or state-issued photo ID showing their name and an expiration date that is either current or that expired after the last general election.

Without ID, a voter may cast a provisional ballot, which is counted only if he returns within six days with an ID, or signs an affidavit affirming that he either is indigent or has a religious objection to being photographed.

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

Voters must provide an excuse to mail in an absentee ballot.

What if You Have a Felony Conviction? (Expansive)

Felons are prohibited from voting while in prison.

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

Voters may submit absentee ballots in person beginning 29 days before the election until 12 p.m. the day before Election Day.



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.