By Jueseppi B.
VoteRiders is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to ensure that all citizens are able to exercise their right to vote. Through resources and media exposure, VoteRiders supports on-the-ground organizations that assist citizens to get their voter ID and inspires local volunteers and communities to sustain such programs and galvanize others to emulate these efforts.
How We Started
Upon hearing the news of multiple states passing voter ID laws and learning that millions of potential voters may be disenfranchised come November 2012 and beyond, Kathleen Unger decided to take action. With a wealth of professional and volunteer experience in the non-profit sector under her belt, Ms. Unger decided to start her own non-profit dedicated to ensuring all citizens would be able to exercise their fundamental right to vote. It was important to Ms. Unger that VoteRiders not duplicate what others are doing in this regard. Thus, VoteRiders was founded in April 2012.
VoteRiders was incorporated as a non-profit organization in California on April 6, 2012. Contributions to VoteRiders, a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, are deductible for computing income and estate taxes.
Published on Jun 13, 2013
VoteRiders is a non-partisan, non-profit organization whose mission is to ensure that all citizens are able to exercise their right to vote. Through resources and media exposure, VoteRiders supports on-the-ground organizations that assist citizens to get their voter IDs and inspires local volunteers and communities to sustain such programs and galvanize others to emulate these efforts. Find us at http://www.voteriders.com,
Joy and Emmanuel Personal Voter Stories GOTV: A Stanley Nelson Production
Published on Oct 26, 2012
Joy Lieberman discusses the concern she had about being unable to renew her photo ID, due to a glitch on her birth certificate (her middle name, which she goes by, isn’t on it).
Emmanuel Aziz, who has multiple sclerosis and is confined to a wheelchair, explains the difficulties of traveling to multiple offices for the required documentation.
Voter ID Advocate Training
Published on Oct 23, 2012
Note: On October 2, 2012, the Pennsylvania voter ID law was suspended until after the 2012 election.
Some states have enacted laws requiring voters to show photo identification to be allowed to cast their ballot. VoteRiders & The League of Women Voters team up with the Philadelphia Senior Law Center in a session to train volunteer advocates who help people secure the the kinds of photo ID needed to vote in states that now require it.
Published on Aug 30, 2012
VoteRiders founder and president, Kathleen Unger, talks about the impact of voter ID laws and the importance of making sure citizens have to proper ID so they can vote.
The Victims of Voter ID Laws
Published on Jun 12, 2012
Last year, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker passed a law requiring citizens to show identification at the polls. While two state judges have blocked the law from going into effect, if the injunction is lifted the law would likely disenfranchise thousands of voters. The Center for American Progress visited the state during the contentious recall election to investigate.
Veteran Denied the Right to Vote
Published on Apr 23, 2012
Restrictive voter I.D. laws are being passed in many states, making it especially difficult for students, the poor, seniors and minorities to vote. Join Gil Paar in fighting for our rights. Visit http://www.usw.org/election2012.
It’s NOT Just Black Americans denied the right to vote.
“Our nation is strengthened when the majority of our eligible citizens vote. A wave of voter suppression legislation, chiefly government-issued photo ID laws, threatens to make it difficult to impossible for communities of color, elderly, veterans and people with disabilities to do so. That is why VoteRiders, working in the states with key partners to help voters acquire the necessary documents to vote, is so vital.”
About the Issue
Protecting the right to vote is not a partisan issue. It’s an American issue. No citizen should be prevented from exercising this basic right.
Complicated voter ID laws put state bureaucrats between eligible voters and the ballot box.
You must act now to protect your vote and the votes of others.
You can help save our American democracy.
Are you Ready to Vote?
As of August 2013, some form of voter ID law is in effect in 33 states:
|Montana||New Hampshire||North Carolina|
|Pennsylvania||Rhode Island||South Carolina|
What’s the Big Deal?
Some people may think it’s easy to get a photo ID. Doesn’t everybody need one to drive a car, get on a plane, and buy cigarettes and alcohol? Well, not everyone drives including people with disabilities, older adults – the Greatest Generation! – and low-income individuals. Not everybody smokes or drinks alcohol. And many citizens have their reasons why they do not travel on airplanes.
Ok, then … just get the ID that you need! Not so fast – obtaining a current, valid, government-issued photo ID in order to vote means at least one trip to the local DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles or wherever in each state you get a voter ID). Depending upon where you live, your local DMV can be up to 100 miles away; and the days and hours it’s open can be few.
The much bigger difficulty can be trying to get the documents you need to prove who you are and where you live. To get a voter ID, a state may require a certified copy of your birth certificate with a raised seal (and, legal documentation of any change of name since then) – all of which costs money and can take a lot of time, plus a social security card plus two acceptable documents showing your name and address.
Who Do Voter ID Laws Affect?
A report released by the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law School analyzed laws that had passed in 14 states by October of 2011. The study found that these laws have the potential to disenfranchise more than five million eligible voters in 2012. Since then, 17 new states have some form of voter ID law in effect. Pennsylvania’s voter ID law, which was passed in 2012 and therefore excluded from the Brennan Center study, could ultimately affect an additional 758,939 to 1.5 million eligible Pennsylvania voters, based on reliable surveys and sources.
Some laws specify strict current, government-issued photo ID requirements. Those who do not have a current, valid photo ID – primarily those without a driver’s license – are older Americans, people of color, young adults, people with disabilities and individuals with low incomes.
To further understand the issue, a Brennan Center survey conducted in 2006 regarding US citizens and proof of citizenship yielded the following findings:
- As many as 11 percent of voting-age United States citizens – more than 21 million individuals – do not have current unexpired government-issued photo identification.
- 18 percent of American citizens age 65 and above do not have a current government-issued photo ID. Using 2005 census estimates, this amounts to more than six million senior citizens.
- 25 percent of African-American voting-age citizens have no current government-issued photo ID, compared to eight percent of white voting-age citizens. Using 2000 census figures, there are more than 5.5 million adult African-American citizens without photo identification.
- As many as 18 percent of citizens aged 18-24 do not have photo ID with current address and name; using 2004 census tallies, almost 4.5 million young adult American citizens are in jeopardy.
Further, voter ID laws disproportionately impact women. Those who have assumed a married name may still have their single-status name on their driver’s license vs. their name on the voter roll. The above-mentioned Brennan Center survey found that only 48% of voting-age women have easy access to their U.S. birth certificates with their current legal name, “and only 66% of voting-age women with ready access to any proof of citizenship have a document with current legal name.” The study used census data from 2000 and concluded that the only available proof-of-citizenship documents possessed by as many as 32 million voting-age women do not reflect their current name.
We encourage those in voter ID states to double-check and renew their IDs now, before the next Election Day.
What VoteRiders is Doing
VoteRiders, a non-partisan 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, assists local, statewide and national organizations that help eligible citizens to obtain their voter IDs and underlying documents (birth certificates, Social Security cards, etc.), if necessary. Read more about what VoteRiders does here.
Additional Help Obtaining a Voter ID
If you need help obtaining an ID or have questions, please call the Election Protection Hotline:
1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683) or call
the Ve Y Vota Hotline:
First-time voters, including those who have not voted in a previous federal election or who have never voted in their county of residence in a federal election, must present voter ID.
CLICK HERE to see what is required.
Requirements for Absentee Ballots
Important: Check Your State Listing Carefully — Each State Has Unique Mail Ballot Deadlines and Requirements.
Voting by Absentee Ballot is a particularly viable alternative for people who might have trouble getting to the polls or standing in long lines on Election Day. In some states the Voter ID requirements are less stringent for Absentee Voting than voting in person. Deadlines and requirements vary by state, so please check our Absentee Voting/Voter ID Requirements for more information.
CLICK HERE to view Voter ID requirements for Absentee Ballots.
VoteRiders Voter ID Clinics
VoteRiders is launching Voter ID Clinics in voter ID states. click here to learn more.
Help Getting Voter ID
Need to find out if your state has a voter ID law? As of August 2013, the following 33 states have some form of voter ID law in effect. Click on your state below to find out what the requirements are and if you have the right ID:
For all inquiries please fill in the fields provided and we’ll be in touch as soon as possible. Thank you!
VoteRiders has partnered with Video the Vote to document Citizen Stories – videos about citizen voters’ compelling experiences with getting voter ID. If you have a story to tell or know someone who does, please Contact Us and we will try to connect you with a VtV volunteer in your area.
- The VoteRiders Voter ID Clinics Project (blogforarizona.com)
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