Voter Identification Laws: Issues and Analyses
Alanna Summerfield (Editor)
Series: Government Procedures and Operations
The authority to regulate U.S. elections is shared by federal, state, and local officials. Congress has addressed major functional areas in the voting process, such as voter registration. However, the responsibility for administration of state and federal elections resides at the state level. In 2002 Congress passed the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), which requires states to request ID from first time voters who register by mail, when they register to vote or cast a ballot for the first time, and to permit individuals to vote a provisional ballot if they do not have the requisite ID.
Numerous states have enacted additional laws to address how an individual may register to vote or cast a ballot. As of June 2014, 33 states had enacted requirements for all eligible voters to show ID before casting a ballot at the polls on Election Day. This book reviews what available literature indicates about voter ownership of and direct costs to obtain select IDs; what available literature and analyses of available data indicate about how, if at all, voter ID laws have affected turnout in select states; to what extent provisional ballots were cast due to ID reasons in select states; and what challenges may exist in using available information to estimate the incidence of in-person voter fraud.