Sarah Silverman’s quick public service announcement
Published on Sep 24, 2013
It’s time to register to vote. It’s so easy. It literally takes 60 seconds at http://ourtime.org/vote
Click the link already, will ya?
Also Like us on Facebook :) http://www.facebook.com/ourtimeorg
National Voter Registration — so go register!
Although black voter turnout was strong in 2012–outpacing every other demographic group for the first time in history–turnout tends to be dramatically lower in non-presidential years, and could be made worse by the growing number of state restrictions at the polls. Advancement Project believes that registering voters for the 2014 elections would be necessary to “send a message that we will not move backward and be silenced.”
Thirty states currently have laws in place requiring voters to show identification at the polls, (11 require photo ID,) according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, and more look to be on the way.
Since the Supreme Court in June 2013, struck down a key provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which required certain states to get approval from the federal government on any changes made to voting laws, strict photo ID requirements in Mississippi and Texas no longer face roadblocks, and will likely be implemented in the near future. Alabama, Arkansas, and Virginia will become photo ID states in 2014. And North Carolina’s newly-signed photo ID requirement will go into effect in 2016.
Ohio may be next to join that growing list of photo ID states. Last year, Republican State Rep. John Becker introduced House Bill 269, a measure requiring Ohioans to show photo ID for in-person voting.
Becker said the purpose of the bill was to “discourage fraud” and “provide the most basic, common, and reasonable security for voting.” But Democratic State Sen. Nina Turner, who is running to be Ohio secretary of state, said the measure was nothing short of an “assault on the very fabric of our democracy.”
“This is un-American, what they are trying to do,” said Turner to MSNBC Tuesday. “As far as I am concerned, it is an all-out attack on people of color, on elderly people, and people who may be economically challenged.”
Becker said his bill takes into account people who are at or below the poverty level, and will allow for “free photo IDs for people who can’t afford to purchase one.” But Turner insists the bill will unduly burden the 938,642 Ohio adults that, according to Policy Matters Ohio, lack photo ID.
“Voter fraud is almost non-existent,” said Turner. “People don’t just show up on election day, trying to impersonate other people. It is a solution in search of a problem.”
Vote Riders. Votes Count. Be Counted.
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 theInternal 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,
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
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
2014 Voter ID Laws
Introduction to voter ID laws
Voter ID laws have been a hot-topic the past few years. Proponents of voter ID laws argue that these laws prevent voter fraud at the polls (or by mail-in or absentee ballot). Opponents argue that voter ID laws are a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist, and succeed primarily in prevent Americans from casting their votes on election day. Long Distance Voter is in the latter camp: we feel that voter ID laws are an unnecessary burden on the American voter. This page is our attempt to help you learn what ID you’ll need to provide when you vote.
Here’s a quick summary of where we stand as of April 2014
- Voters in 30 states will have to show an ID document when they vote in-person at the polls in 2014.
- Voters in 9 states will have to include a photocopy of their ID when they vote by mail or by absentee ballot in 2014.
- Voters in the remaining 19 states (and the District of Columbia) do not need to provide ID documents when voting in person or by absentee ballot. These voters can verify their identity by signing an affidavit, providing personal identifying information, or by signing a log book or poll log (the signature is then compared to a signature on file).
Additional requirements for first-time voters
State voter ID laws apply equally to all voters. First-time voters, however, may face additional voter ID requirements due to the ironically named Federal “Help America Vote Act” (HAVA) of 2002. HAVA instructs that first-time voters who register by mail must provide some form of ID before voting in a Federal election (a federal election is a presidential or congressional election).
HAVA in a nutshell: you should include your drivers license number on your voter registration form or you should be prepared to provide ID the first time you vote in person or by absentee ballot. You must meet this ID requirements the first time you vote in a federal election in a new state – even if you’ve voted before in another state. Acceptable forms of ID include:
- a non-expired photo ID (driver’s license, US passport, student ID, military ID, work ID, tribal ID, etc)
- a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check or other government document that shows your name and current address
Exceptions to the voter ID requirements
- Military and overseas voters who are vote by absentee ballot under the federal Uniformed and Overseas Citizen Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) are exempt from ALL voter ID requirements.
- Elderly and disabled voters are exempt from the HAVA requirments but might not be exempt from state voter ID laws.
Where to go if you have questions
Voter ID is a pain in the neck and laws change frequently. We make every effort to keep this data up-to-date, but if you have any questions you should contact your Local Election Official
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.
Resources and Off-site Links
Information on federal requirements for first-time voter identification comes directly from the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA).
The bulk of our in-person voter ID information comes from the National Conference of State Legislatures, which is a fantastic resource.
We contacted the Secretaries of State and/or Local Election Officials directly to gather the absentee voter ID information.
We make every effort to keep this information up-to-date, but voter identification laws change frequently. Please contact your Local Election Officia
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.
Every person who shares helps us reach three more voters.
Sharing this page is the easiest thing you can do to directly increase voter turnout this year
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