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State of Play | Voter ID: Unpacking the Debate as Voters Head to the Polls

As the primary season heats up across the country, voter ID laws are a point of focus.

March 5, 2024

As the primary season heats up across the country, voter ID laws are a point of focus as Americans hit the polls. Thirty-seven states have laws requesting or requiring voters to show some form of identification at the polls, while the remaining 13 states and Washington, D.C., use other methods to identify voters, such as utility bills, bank statements or sworn affidavits.

In this month’s installment of “State of Play,” a bipartisan video series created by A Starting Point and NCSL, North Carolina Sen. Warren Daniel (R) and Maryland Del. Jheanelle Wilkins (D) delve into the controversial issue.

Wilkins, who serves as vice chair of the Ways and Means Committee and as a member of the Rules and Executive Nominations Committee, says when implementing voting policies, it’s crucial to think about how they will make the voting process more accessible to more residents.

“Voter ID laws are actually a barrier because not everyone has an ID, and the people who tend not to have identification tend to be those who are people of color, people with disabilities, people who are returning citizens, and some of our most vulnerable communities who we really want to ensure have full access to participate in the fabric of our society,” she says.

Daniel, who serves as the chairman of the Redistricting and Elections Committee and as co-chair of the Joint Legislative Elections Oversight Committee, says most voters support voter ID laws.

“We think it’s a good way to enhance voter confidence,” he says. “And in North Carolina, we have expansive opportunities to vote. We have one of the longest early voting periods in the country. We have one of the longest absentee/mail-in voting processes in the country.”

Listen in as Wilkins and Daniel discuss how voter ID laws can be written to balance election security with ballot access for all eligible voters, whether states should enact mandatory voter ID laws, and the question of expanding early voting and voting by mail.

Join the discussion by watching the video now.

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