Do You Need an ID? (Most expansive)

No document is required to vote.

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)

Felons are prohibited from voting while in prison, on parole and on probation, and for some, after their sentence. Those convicted of nonviolent felonies may have their voting rights restored after serving their prison and parole time. Those convicted of violent felonies, or second-time offenders must petition a court for restoration.

Can You Vote In Person Before Election Day? (Less restrictive)

Voters may go to the polls beginning the third Saturday before an election until the Friday 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.