Three House Republicans are pulling together information about how many states rely on versions of voter ID laws in their voting process as GOP lawmakers across the country push for stricter election integrity measures.
Reps. Virginia Foxx, James Comer, and Rodney Davis sent a letter Friday to the National Conference of State Legislatures, an association representing state lawmakers, asking for a full list of which states use voter ID laws, as well as which ones have voter ID proposals pending.
The debate over asking voters to prove their identity in order to cast a ballot heated up earlier this year when Georgia passed a voting law that extended ID requirements to mail-in voting.
The law demanded voters provide a driver’s license or Social Security number in order to request an absentee ballot, a requirement to which Democrats objected strenuously.
But after the failure of a major voting rights bill in Congress, some Democrats have embraced the idea of including a voting ID requirement in compromise legislation.
The House Republicans noted the shift in their letter seeking to build a list of where the requirements are in place.
“There is increasing bipartisan support for requirements to show a photo identification before being permitted to cast a ballot,” they wrote. “Even Democrats who once opposed such measures are now signaling support, including former President Barack Obama and voter rights advocate Stacey Abrams.”
States that ask voters to prove their identity apply the requirements with varying levels of strictness, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Some states require a photo ID to cast a ballot, while others allow alternative forms of documentation, such as a utility bill, to suffice.
State-level voting reforms returned to the spotlight earlier this month when Texas Democrats fled the Lone Star State to deny the legislature a quorum in order to block voting reform legislation.
That legislation would impose ID requirements on voters requesting an absentee ballot, like Georgia’s law does. If a Texas voter does not have a driver’s license or Social Security number, they can sign an affidavit swearing they have no other identification and still receive their absentee ballot.
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Democrats have accused Republicans of seeking to tighten voting rules without any evidence that elections face threats to justify the changes.
The Supreme Court, however, said in a ruling earlier this month related to Arizona voting laws that states don’t need to have uncovered fraud in order to pass laws aimed at preventing it.
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Original Author: Sarah Westwood
Original Location: House Republicans seek to boost case for voter ID laws