Last updated on: 10/18/2023 | Author: ProCon.org

Should Voters Be Required to Show Photo Identification to Vote?

As of Sep. 2023, 36 states have laws that either require or request that voters provide identification at polling places. Some states require a government-issued photo ID while other states allow non-photo identification such as a document showing the voter’s name and address.

National Conference of State Legislatures, “Voter ID Laws,” ncsl.org, Mar. 9, 2023

PRO (yes)

Pro

Doug Burgum:

“The right to vote is a powerful underpinning of American democracy, and this legislation protects that right while offering eligible citizens multiple and straightforward opportunities to legally cast their ballot. House Bill 1369 strengthens the integrity of our elections by ensuring all voters have proper identification while allowing those without current or complete forms of ID to provide supplemental documents to verify their eligibility.”

Editors’ Note: House Bill 1369 was signed after a federal judge struck down North Dakota’s voter ID law saying the law placed an “undue burden” on Native Americans in the state.

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John Hageman, “Burgum Signs Voter Id Bill amid Lawsuit,” bismarcktribune.com, Apr 24, 2017

Pro

Ron DeSantis:

“Florida took action this legislative session to increase transparency and strengthen the security of our elections. Floridians can rest assured that our state will remain a leader in ballot integrity. Elections should be free and fair, and these changes [Senate Bill 90, which DeSantis signed on May 6, 2021] will ensure this continues to be the case in the Sunshine State.”

Editors’ Note: According to the press release from which DeSantis’ quote is taken: “Senate Bill 90 strengthens existing voter ID laws, bans ballot harvesting, prohibits unsolicited mass mailing of ballots, increases election transparency, and prohibits private money from administering elections. While Florida already requires identification to vote, Senate Bill 90 will require additional identification information when changing any voter registration information, or requesting a vote by mail ballot, preventing fraud and securing the voter rolls.”

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Ron DeSantis, “Governor Ron DeSantis Signs Bill to Safeguard the Sanctity of Florida Elections,” flgov.com, May 6, 2021

Pro

Nikki Haley:

“I’ve never seen the voter ID as a racial issue. I see is it’s an issue where people prove who they are, and I think that’s something very important for our democracy.”

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Dan Cooney, “South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley Calls Roof’s Background Check Failure an ‘FBI Issue,'” nbcnews.com, June 12, 2015

Pro

Vivek Ramaswamy:

“We missed a decisive moment 2 years ago when concerns election integrity & the peaceful transition of power came to a head, but we can still get this right & move our nation forward:

1. Make Election Day a National Holiday

2. Single-Day Voting

3. Paper Ballots

4. Government-issued voter ID matched to the voter file. I will lead us to get there & pledge to lead *all* Americans forward beyond concerns about election integrity after that. This is achievable.”

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Vivek Ramaswamy, twitter.com, Aug. 27, 2023

Pro

Donald Trump:

“No debate on Election Security should go forward without first agreeing that Voter ID (Identification) must play a very strong part in any final agreement. Without Voter ID, it is all so meaningless!”

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Donald Trump, twitter.com, Aug. 13, 2019

CON (no)

Con

Joe Biden:

“Too many Americans face significant obstacles to exercising their fundamental right to vote. For generations, Black voters and other voters of color have faced discriminatory policies that suppress their vote. Voters of color are more likely to face long lines at the polls and are disproportionately burdened by voter identification laws and limited opportunities to vote by mail. Native Americans likewise face limited opportunities to vote by mail and frequently lack sufficient polling places and voter registration opportunities near their homes. Limited access to language assistance is an obstacle for many voters. People with disabilities face longstanding barriers in exercising their right to vote, especially when it comes to legally required accommodations to vote privately and independently. Members of our military serving overseas, as well as other American citizens living abroad, also face unnecessary challenges to exercising their right to vote.”

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White House, “Fact Sheet: President Biden to Sign Executive Order to Promote Voting Access,” whitehouse.gov, Mar. 7, 2021

Not Clear or Not Found

Chris Christie:

No position as of Oct. 17, 2023.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.:

No position found as of Sep. 27, 2023.