Voter ID:  2013 Legislation

Voter marking ballotLast updated Aug. 22, 2013

The issue of voter ID dominated the work of election committees in many state legislatures throughout 2011 and 2012, and has continued to be high-profile in 2013. Legislation was introduced in a total of 30 states; this includes new voter ID proposals in 12 states, proposals to strengthen existing photo ID laws in seven states and other changes to existing photo ID laws in 11 states. Unless otherwise noted, all legislation listed below remains pending.

New Voter ID Proposals

The following states presently do not have a voter ID law, but have legislation pending that would impose one.

  • Illinois -- HB 976, SB 1393, SB 1682 and SB 1685
  • Iowa -- HF 485, SF 85 and SSB 1012 (adjourned; all carried over to 2014 session)
  • Maryland -- HB 137 and HB 325 (both failed)
  • Massachusetts -- HB 572, HB 580, HB 586, HB 592, HB 626, HB 3308, HB 3593, SB 335 and SB 339
  • Nebraska -- LB 381 (adjourned; carried over to 2014 session)
  • Nevada -- AB 216 and SB 63 (both failed. Note that this would have been a unique twist on voter ID: rather than requiring voters to present identification at the polls, it would have required that voters' photographs from their drivers' licenses be automatically imported in precinct and early voting rosters, and would have set procedures to be followed if an election official does not believe the voter presenting him/herself in person is the same person in the photograph.)
  • New Jersey -- A 674, A 1405, A 1693 and S 200
  • New Mexico -- HB 103 (failed)
  • New York -- A 3788, A 3789 and S 100
  • North Carolina -- HB 253, HB 589 (enacted), SB 235 and SB 721
  • West Virginia -- HB 2215, HB 2350, HB 3107, HB 3117 and SB 13 (all failed)
  • Wyoming -- SB 134 (failed)

Strengthening Existing Voter ID Laws

The following states already have a voter ID law in place. Legislation pending this year would amend the law, in most cases making it a strict photo ID law.

  • Arkansas -- SB 2 (enacted--veto overriden 4/1/2013), SB 957, SB 958 and SJR 1 (all failed)
  • Connecticut -- HB 5153, HB 5892 and HB 5893 (all failed)
  • Missouri -- HB 48, HB 216, HJR 1, HJR 5, HJR 12, SB 27, SB 660 and SJR 6 (all failed)
  • Montana -- HB 108 (failed)
  • North Dakota -- HB 1332 (enacted)
  • Oklahoma -- HB 2106, SB 282 (enacted) and SB 752 (enacted)
  • Virginia -- HB 1337 (enacted), HB 1787 (failed), SB 719 (failed), SB 1072 (failed) and SB 1256 (enacted)

Other Changes to Voter ID Laws

  • In Alabama, SB 81 (failed) would allow a voter who does not have ID to sign an affidavit affirming his/her identity in lieu of presenting ID (Alabama's strict photo ID law is scheduled to take effect in 2014).

  • Under current law in Alaska, an election official may waive the voter ID requirement if she or he personally knows the voter. HB 3 (failed) would restrict that practice to situations in which the voter's name appears in the precinct registration list.

  • In Indiana, HB 1291 (failed) clarifies that a veteran's ID card issued by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is sufficient proof of identity for voting purposes. Also in Indiana, SB 366 removes the exemption that currently allows voters who are residents of state-licensed care facilities to vote without showing ID and requires voters to return proof of identity with absentee ballots.

  • In Kansas, HB 2260 (adjourned; carried over to 2014 session) would allow a voter to sign an affidavit in lieu of ID.

  • In New Hampshire, HB 595 (enacted) pushes the implementation date for its 2012 voter identification law from 2013 to 2015. HB 287 and SB 182 (failed).

  • In New Mexico, HM 102 (failed) proposed a study of current voter ID requirements.

  • In Pennsylvania, SB 69 and SB 543 would substitute the current list of IDs acceptable for voting purposes with a longer list including several forms that do not bear a photo. HB 876 and SB 636 would expand the authority to issue voter identification to include the district offices of members of the General Assembly.
  • In Rhode Island, HB 5776 and SB 359 (both failed) would repeal the voter ID law. HB 5783 (withdrawn) would facilitate the process of training poll workers to implement the voter ID law.

  • In South Carolina, HB 3003 would include a student ID card in the list of IDs acceptable for voting purposes. SB 29 provides that a person with a reasonable impediment to producing a valid photograph identification due to a religious objection shall submit a written statement with the provisional ballot. SB 69 would allow electors who fail to produce a valid and current photograph identification to complete a statement at the polling place and affirm that the elector meets certain qualifications.
  • In Tennessee, HB 229/SB 125 (enacted) would prohibit use of county or municipal IDs for voting purposes, and allow only state or U.S.-issued IDs. HB 252 (failed) would permit the use of student IDs for voting. HB 292/SB 1098 (failed) would allow the use of ID issued by the county election commission. SB 1082 (failed) would permit the use of student IDs.

  • In Texas, HB 465 (failed) would roll back the strict photo-only ID law passed in 2011 and return the state's requirements to something closer to the previous non-strict, non-photo ID requirement.