Author: Marie

Voter ID Legislation: A Look at the House’s proposals

Voter ID Legislation: A Look at the House's proposals

Election Officials Warn of Efforts to Intimidate Voters

Election Officials Warn of Efforts to Intimidate Voters


The Election Law Blog, USA TODAY

The House of Representatives is considering more than a dozen proposals that would make it more difficult to vote; many aim to prevent some types of voting by making it easier to challenge registration, absentee ballots and in-person voting.

They range from automatic voter registration — already illegal in 37 states across the country — to measures that would make it necessary to show identification at polling sites.

A provision in the Voting Rights Act would expand access to the polls, but it would take a different approach: While Congress has never required any states to verify a registered voter’s citizenship, lawmakers in the House want to require verification of a voter’s identification as a way of combatting voter fraud.

The Justice Department also is taking a closer look at voter ID law. Federal law says a registered voter cannot be turned away at the polls if they do not have the proper identification. But some state legislatures still have restrictions on who can register to vote.

“This is a national conversation about voter suppression that goes beyond just one state in Florida,” says Katherine Jaramillo, director of voting rights for Common Cause. “This is something that needs to be taken at the national level.”

Here’s a look at some of the proposals making their way through the House, along with what critics are saying of them.

Universal ID

For decades, Election Laws has covered voter ID laws around the country, looking at them from a historical perspective. Our coverage of the issue began in September 2004, with the election in Missouri of Democratic Sen.hasn’t really taken off since — until late last month, when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Republican-backed law in Florida.

Florida’s law required prospective voters to present photo ID at the polls. It also gave election officials permission to reject voters with out-of-state driver’s licenses, regardless of the state in which they were issued.

In 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a similar provision

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