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-Spencer L. Simons, former Director, O'Quinn Law Library and Associate Professor of Law



Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Voter ID Laws

As focus on the 2012 election gains momentum, there is also growing attention on the issue of voter identification laws. These laws require people to show ID, or sometimes photo ID, before they are allowed to vote at the polls. There is a great deal of debate about this issue as some argue that these measures are meant to limit the right to vote for particular groups, while others maintain that these laws are necessary to curb voter fraud. In the last few years, voter ID laws have been enacted or introduced in a growing number of states, including Texas. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures website, in 2011 only three states (Oregon, Vermont, and Wyoming) did not have voter ID laws or consider voter ID legislation.

For information about specific requirements in each state, see the map and chart provided by the National Conference of State Legislatures website. The Brennan Center for Justice has also put together a report detailing the large number of voting law changes in 2011. If you are interested in learning more about voting in Texas, visit the VOTEXAS.org website.

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