Cost and accessibility can be barriers to having a current photo ID needed to vote, which can disproportionately impact people of color, seniors, women and the poor, according to a survey done by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law.

Got Voter ID?

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By
Kasyn Givens

Reporter

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

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Media for Wix

Cost and accessibility can be barriers to having a current photo ID needed to vote, which can disproportionately impact people of color, seniors, women and the poor, according to a survey done by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law.

The midterm elections are 49 days away. Got your ID ready to vote?


If not, no worries. VoteRiders has you covered. Representatives from this nonprofit will be on hand at the Maxey Community Center on Klondike Avenue in Winter Garden on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., to help anyone, regardless of party affiliation, who needs to update or replace their identification in order to cast a ballot.


Founded in 2012, VoteRiders educates people about voter ID laws and helps voters order any legal documents — birth or marriage certificates or social security cards — required for a Florida driver’s license or state ID, said Jazlyn Gallego, VoteRider's state outreach director and voter ID coalition coordinator, in an interview with VoxPopuli.


VoteRiders covers the costs of such documents. And when the documents arrive, the nonprofit even partners with Uber and Lyft to provide transportation for voters to the motor vehicles departments to apply for driver’s licenses or Florida IDs.


Florida’s voter ID laws have gotten stricter with the passage of Senate Bill 90, which was signed into law May 6, 2021. Before then, voters could simply request mail-in ballots from their county supervisor of elections offices. Now, all requests for mail-in ballots (whether in person, by phone or by email) require a driver’s license number, Florida ID number or the last four digits of a voter’s social security number.


In the 2020 election, Black and Brown communities used vote-by-mail and drop boxes at higher rates, Kristin Fulwylie, managing director of Equal Ground, a nonprofit education and voting advocacy organization, wrote in an email to VoxPopuli. “Yet the very next year, voting restriction laws were passed to make the ballot box less accessible. IDs are now required to request vote-by-mail ballots.”


But identification cards can expire. Addresses often change. Names, too, if a woman marries or divorces. For trans people, this is particularly thorny as names on legal documents may not match new identities. Minority communities are less likely to have IDs because of the cost and accessibility of identity-verifying documents, Fulwylie said in her email.


A national survey by New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice found that women, elderly, poor and people of color are less likely to have government-issued photo IDs, such as driver’s licenses or passports, than the general population. According to the survey, only 66 percent of voting-age women who had proof of U.S. citizenship had a document with their legal name on it. The survey showed that upwards of 18 percent of senior citizens and 25 percent of Black voters did not have appropriate ID for voting.


That’s where VoteRiders comes in. The nonprofit maintains offices in the key swing states Florida, Georgia, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Texas, Arizona and Pennsylvania. But Gallego said they field ID questions from across the country. “We’re experts in every state, and it’s a lot of information for the common voter to get through in terms of trying to figure out not just what ID to bring with you but how to obtain an ID,” Gallego said. “And that is what we are here to help with.”


Can I Vote With That?

You can vote with the following ID, provided it’s current, has a photo and a signature.

If the ID does not have a signature, have another ID ready that does have a signature.

  • Florida driver’s license

  • Florida state ID

  • U.S. Passport

  • Debit or credit card

  • Military ID

  • Student ID

  • Retirement center ID

  • Neighborhood association ID

  • Public assistance ID

  • Veterans health ID card

  • License to carry concealed weapon or firearm

  • Employee photo ID card issued by Federal Government, State of Florida, county, municipality or other entity of Florida

— VoteRiders 


Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that VoteRiders has representatives in every state. The organization has offices in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Texas, Arizona, and Pennsylvania. They assist people from other states remotely. The story has been updated.

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