Voter Identification in the Courts | An Introduction to Legal Challenges to Voter ID Laws


Photo of a passport, driver's license and bus pass.

NCSL’s  "Voter ID in the Courts: An Introduction to Legal Challenges to Voter ID Laws" explains the role that courts of law have played in the development of voter ID laws. It is written for the lay person, and is not intended to provide legal advice.

Legislators who are proponents of stricter voter identification requirements at polling places may find this document of use when crafting legislation that will pass constitutional muster. Opponents of stricter voter ID laws may find it useful to understand what arguments have been used in previous court cases and might be applicable in their own state. 


The document includes:

  • A discussion of the grounds under which challenges have been made, and the success of these approaches.
  • The deciding factors in prominent court cases; these vary greatly depending on the state and the laws themselves.
  • A glossary.

The document was completed in May 2014, and any court action after that time is not included.

For more information, email Wendy Underhill, NCSL Elections Program manager, or phone 303-364-7700.