State of Elections

William & Mary Law School | Election Law Society

Tag: photo ID (page 2 of 3)

New Voting Measures in Illinois: Expansion of the Franchise or Partisan Power-Grab?

By Carl Zielinski

While states like Ohio have successfully restricted early voting access, in the past three months Illinois has significantly eased the process of both registering to vote and casting ballots. In late June, the largely Democratic Illinois state legislature pushed through a bill that expands early voting days and hours, allows early voting without photo ID, establishes same-day registration, allows voters to register online, and eases the eligibility of college students to vote in statewide elections. The newly implemented early voting period now starts fifteen days before any primary or general election and ends two days before Election Day. The lack of a photo ID requirement stands in stark contrast to voter ID laws like those recently implemented in states like Texas and Wisconsin. Continue reading

Politics and pictures: Rhode Island and its new voter ID law

In elections past, Rhode Island has not required photo identification for a ballot to be counted. However, with the passage of a new law the state has at least superficially joined the ranks of states which have approved legislation that will hamper the voting rights of its most vulnerable citizens. Yet the truth may not be so simple. Rhode Island’s law is less restrictive and more benign than legislation passed by other states which may explain the unique politics behind the passage of RI’s new photo identification bill.

The law will be implemented in two stages. “The first stage will require non-photo ID beginning Jan. 1, 2012. The second stage will require photo ID beginning Jan. 1, 2014.”

For the upcoming 2012 election, voters are able to vote by establishing their identity through possession of forms of ID that do not have their photo, “including without limitation”: a birth certificate, social security card, or government-issued medical card. The language “without limitation” can reasonably be construed as meaning that “any current photo identification that includes the name and photograph of the voter will be accepted.” Continue reading

When is state law not enforceable?

Texas awaits DOJ approval for its new voter photo ID law.

by Daniel Carrico

The battle over Texas’s controversial new voter identification bill should be over. Instead, it appears to be heating up.

Senate Bill 14 amends the Texas Election Code, requiring voters to present an approved form of photo identification to cast a ballot in state elections. Voters may rely on most forms of commonly-used government-issued photo identification, such as a driver’s license or passport. Voters who are unwilling, or unable, to pay for identification are also covered; the bill creates a new form of identification called an “election identification certificate” which can be obtained at no cost from the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Both the Texas House and Senate approved the bill and its photo identification requirements, following months of heated debate across the state. And, on May 27, Governor Rick Perry signed the bill into law. Notwithstanding any post-enactment court challenges, gubernatorial endorsement is the final step in the legislative process—or at least that’s how things usually work in Texas. Continue reading

Voter identification laws in New Hampshire: continuing the national debate


In September 2011, New Hampshire state senators failed to override the gubernatorial veto of Senate Bill No. 129, which would have imposed identification requirements on New Hampshire voters. More specifically, the Bill would have required voters to present a valid voter identification (as specified in the Bill) on Election Day before being able to cast their ballots. For those voters without valid IDs on Election Day, the Bill granted them the ability to vote using a provisional ballot with the requirement that the voter show his or her official ID two-and-a-half days later. According to one source, the proposed law would have been “one of the most regressive voter photo ID laws in the nation,” and Governor John Lynch (D) claimed that the Bill would “create a real risk that voters would be denied their right to vote.” To support his veto, Gov. Lynch pointed to the positive state of elections in New Hampshire, specifically high voter turnout, the absence of fraud issues, and strong election laws, and he relied upon those reasons – among others – to justify not needing a strict voter identification law in New Hampshire.   Continue reading

SC (voter id): “We do not have a constitutional right to buy Sudafed or be a frequent flier; we do have a constitutional right to vote.”

by Sheila Dugan

On May 11, 2011, the South Carolina General Assembly passed Act R54.  The new law would require individuals to present photo identification to vote. Governor Nikki Haley signed the bill a week later. The Department of Justice has yet to pre-clear the new law, stating that it needs proof from South Carolina that Act R54 would not disenfranchise voters. Valid forms of identification include a South Carolina driver’s license, a passport, military identification, a voter registration card with a photograph, or another form of photographic identification from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Chris Whitmire, Director of Public Relations and Training at the South Carolina State Election Commission (SCSEC), spoke to me about the preparations taking place if the law is pre-cleared. These preparations include training county election officials, notifying registered voters without proper identification through direct mail, and a social media campaign about the new law. The General Assembly allocated $535,000 to the SCSEC for the voter education campaign and the creation of new voter registration cards that contain a photograph of the voter.

Registered voters would be able to obtain the new voter registration cards with the same documents they now use to register to vote (these include a photo ID or documents like a utility bill or pay stub with their address printed on it.) This makes the new identification easier to obtain than other government-issued forms of identification.  Another unique feature of the new card is that it will not expire. Continue reading

WI (voter id): Badger ballot blues: early issues with Wisconsin’s voter ID law

by Chris Lewis

Could Wisconsin soon be the center of another political controversy?  A test run of the state’s new voter identification law on Oct. 11 led to long lines and frustrated voters, which could cause state Democrats to amplify their attacks on a law they already claim is costly and intended only to suppress voter turnout. State Republicans have expressed strong support for the law since its passage in May, and have expressed no desire to make any changes before it takes full effect before February’s primary elections.

Madison City Clerk Maribeth Witzel-Behl called for the mock election after noticing irregularities during July’s State Senate recall elections. Poll workers in those elections were instructed to request voters’ identification even though it was not yet required.  Witzel-Behl indicated that the workers were inconsistently following this instruction.  Following Tuesday’s mock election, Witzel-Behl estimated that it took each voter two minutes to present identification and sign the poll book, a standard she found “very alarming.” She also noted that several people left the line due to the long wait. Continue reading

Pennsylvania voters get carded

Pennsylvania voters may find themselves pulling out their wallets and scrounging through their purses for their driver’s licenses in upcoming elections if a recent bill makes it through the State Senate. House Bill 934 (the Pennsylvania Voter Identification Protection Act), sponsored by Republican State Representative Daryl Metcalfe, would require every voter to provide photo identification before voting. It passed the House just last June, and will soon make it to the floor of the Senate. As in many similar efforts across the country, the effort is largely Republican-led; not a single Democrat Representative in Pennsylvania voted for it.

This is Pennsylvania’s second effort at a voter identification bill. The first, which passed in the legislature in 2006, was vetoed by then-Governor Ed Rendell, a Democrat. But on an issue that tends to split down party lines, the effort this time stands a good chance. The Senate has  a Republican majority of 29-20, and the governor is a Republican. Moreover, the bill includes elements, most notably providing free photo identification, that the Supreme Court cited last March when it decided (6-1) to uphold a similar Georgia statute. In short, if the bill passes, it will be there to stay unless a future legislature repeals it.

Continue reading

Weekly Wrap Up

Secretary of State indicted for voter fraud: Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White was indicted by a grand jury Thursday on three counts of voter fraud, among seven felony charges. Although the Governor and the former Secretary of State have called for White to step down, he has declined to do so.

Ohio wants to go high-tech: Ohio’s Secretary of State Jon Husted wants to create an online voter registration system, one of several changes advocated for in advance of the 2012 election. The system, which would require a valid driver’s license or state identification card, would also allow voters to update their address online as well, making the process more convenient.

Rutgers professor may have the last word on New Jersey redistricting: After the 10-member committee to redraw the map of New Jersey for state districts failed to meet their Thursday deadline, state Supreme Court Justice Stuart Rabner appointed an 11th tie-breaking member to the committee, Rutgers public policy professor Alan Rosenthal. Rosenthal was appointed after both parties recommended him.

Chaplin and hoover had met at a dinner early in hoovers career and whatever took place that night have a glimpse at the page initiated a dislike and distrust that were corrosive?

Oklahoma Voter ID Plaintiffs Begin a “Lonely Crusade”

When the red clay dust settled after this month’s elections in Oklahoma, nearly seventy five percent of voters had said “yes” to State Question 746, which proposed amendments to the state’s voter identification requirements.  As a result, beginning on July 1, 2011, every person appearing to vote in Oklahoma must first present (1) a state, tribal, or federal government-issued photo ID or (2) a voter identification card issued by the County Election Board free of charge.  All government-issued photo IDs must have expiration dates, and must not be expired on the date of the election, except for some identity cards issued to people over 65.  These requirements apply to all in-person voting, including in-person absentee voting.  Any voters who can not present acceptable identification may cast a provisional ballot. Continue reading

Weekly Wrap Up

“It’s time to stop stonewalling”: The NAACP and the League of Women Voters filed a lawsuit against new Florida governor Rick Scott, demanding that he submit the voter-approved redistricting amendments to the Justice Department for review. Scott quietly withdrew a request for review in January shortly after taking office.

Misspellings might be OK in AK: A new measure proposed in the Alaska Senate would update the write-in laws, explicitly allowing minor misspellings on write-in votes to count. The law, proposed in response to the 2010 U.S. Senate election, cleared committee this week and should be voted on within days.

Voter IDs High on States’ Agendas: Across the nation, various states are considering voter identification laws. Some, like North Carolina’s proposal, have been in the works for several years; others, like in Minnesota, are new and focus on new technologies to prevent voter fraud. States like Texas, which are subject to the Voter Rights Act, must get these new laws–if passed–approved by the Department of Justice.

In 1951 the recommended site duke was a lugubrious, fussy, hollow man.
Older posts Newer posts

© 2018 State of Elections

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑