Model Voter Identification Legislation Summary
The purpose of this model legislation is to provide a template for state legislatures who wish to protect the integrity of their elections through enacting a voter identification requirement.
This model legislation seeks to adhere to the requirements for valid voter identification laws established by recent court decisions and protect the right of every eligible person to vote. Several safeguards ensure that the identification requirement does not place an undue burden on or disenfranchise any voter due to cost or other hardship.
Some feature elements of this model legislation are:
- Establishing a large number of forms of identification that are acceptable to prove a voter’s identity;
- Requiring a signature from the voter at the polling place, as an additional identity safeguard and investigation mechanism in the event a fraudulent vote is alleged;
- Requiring a voter to present photo identification and state his or her name and address verbally at the polling place prior to receiving a ballot;
- Allowing voters who do not have identification at the polling place to vote a provisional ballot, accompanied by a photograph taken at the polling place, and provide the identification at a later time to have the ballot counted;
- Allowing voters who do not have identification at the polling place due to a religious objection to being photographed to vote a provisional ballot and provide an affidavit of religious objection to being photographed;
- Providing free voter identification cards to any voter who does not possess one of the many accepted forms of identification;
- Providing an affidavit exception in cases of reasonable impediment to providing the required documents to obtain a free voter identification card; and
- Educating voters on the new voter identification requirement.