Voter ID Requirements and Laws by State

With the 2022 elections just around the corner, many citizens are wondering what documents are necessary in order to vote in the United States.

Other questions that arise around the elections are who can vote, what voter ID laws are, and how many states enforce them.

Since most of this information varies greatly from one state to the next, we will break it down and link to helpful resources throughout this guide to give our readers clear answers.

What Elections are Happening in 2022?

The 2022 United States elections will take place on November 8, 2022. This is a midterm election year, in which all 435 seats in the House of Representatives will be up for election. In addition, 34 of the 100 Senate seats will also be contested, and special elections may be held in order to fill vacancies within two other senate classes.

There will also be 39 other gubernatorial territorial and state elections as well as 34 attorney general elections, 27 secretary of state elections, and the vast majority of states will hold legislative elections. The table below lists some of the most notable elections going ahead this year.

General Election Date State Type of Election
8/11/2022 All states House of Representatives
8/11/2022 Alaska State Senate
8/11/2022 Alaska Gubernatorial
8/11/2022 Alabama State Senate
8/11/2022 Alabama Gubernatorial
8/11/2022 Arkansas State Senate
8/11/2022 Arkansas Gubernatorial
8/11/2022 Arkansas Mayoral (Fort Smith)
8/11/2022 Arkansas  Mayoral (Little Rock)
8/11/2022 Arizona State Senate
8/11/2022 Arizona Gubernatorial
8/11/2022 Arizona Mayoral (Flagstaff)
8/11/2022 California Class 3 Senate Special Election
8/11/2022 California State Senate
8/11/2022 California Mayoral (Anaheim)
8/11/2022 California Gubernatorial
8/11/2022 California Mayoral (San Bernardino)
8/11/2022 Colorado State Senate
8/11/2022 Colorado Gubernatorial
8/11/2022 Connecticut State Senate
8/11/2022 Connecticut Gubernatorial
8/11/2022 District of Columbia Gubernatorial
8/11/2022 District of Columbia Mayoral (Washington)
8/11/2022 Florida State Senate
8/11/2022 Florida Gubernatorial
8/11/2022 Florida Mayoral (Tallahassee)
8/11/2022 Georgia State Senate
8/11/2022 Georgia Gubernatorial
8/11/2022 Guam Gubernatorial
8/11/2022 Hawaii State Senate
8/11/2022 Hawaii Gubernatorial
8/11/2022 Idaho State Senate
8/11/2022 Idaho Gubernatorial
8/11/2022 Illinois State Senate
8/11/2022 Illinois Gubernatorial
8/11/2022 Illinois Cook County Election
8/11/2022 Indiana State Senate
8/11/2022 Iowa State Senate
8/11/2022 Iowa Gubernatorial
8/11/2022 Kansas State Senate
8/11/2022 Kansas Gubernatorial
8/11/2022 Kentucky State Senate
8/11/2022 Kentucky Mayoral (Lexington)
8/11/2022 Louisiana State Senate
8/11/2022 Louisiana Mayoral (Shreveport) 
8/11/2022 Maine Gubernatorial
8/11/2022 Maryland State Senate
8/11/2022 Maryland Gubernatorial
8/11/2022 Massachusetts Gubernatorial
8/11/2022 Michigan Gubernatorial
8/11/2022 Minnesota Gubernatorial
8/11/2022 Missouri State Senate
8/11/2022 Nebraska Gubernatorial
8/11/2022 Nevada State Senate
8/11/2022 Nevada Gubernatorial
8/11/2022 Nevada Mayoral (Reno)
8/11/2022 New Hampshire State Senate
8/11/2022 New Hampshire Gubernatorial
8/11/2022 New Mexico Gubernatorial
8/11/2022 New Jersey Mayoral (Newark)
8/11/2022 New Jersey Mayoral (Clifton)
8/11/2022 New York State Senate
8/11/2022 New York Gubernatorial
8/11/2022 North Carolina State Senate
8/11/2022 North Carolina Mayoral (Charlotte)
8/11/2022 North Dakota State Senate
8/11/2022 Northern Mariana Islands Gubernatorial
8/11/2022 Ohio State Senate
8/11/2022 Ohio Gubernatorial
8/11/2022 Oklahoma State Senate
8/11/2022 Oklahoma Gubernatorial
8/11/2022 Oklahoma Mayoral (Norman)
8/11/2022 Oklahoma Mayoral (Oklahoma City)
8/11/2022 Oregon State Senate
8/11/2022 Oregon Gubernatorial
8/11/2022 Pennsylvania State Senate
8/11/2022 Pennsylvania Gubernatorial
8/11/2022 Rhode Island Gubernatorial
8/11/2022 South Carolina State Senate
8/11/2022 South Carolina Gubernatorial
8/11/2022 South Dakota State Senate
8/11/2022 South Dakota Gubernatorial
8/11/2022 Tennessee Gubernatorial
8/11/2022 Texas Mayoral (Lubbock)
8/11/2022 Texas Gubernatorial
8/11/2022 Tennessee Gubernatorial
8/11/2022 Utah State Senate
8/11/2022 Vermont State Senate
8/11/2022 Vermont Gubernatorial
8/11/2022 Washington State Senate
8/11/2022 Wisconsin State Senate
8/11/2022 Wisconsin Gubernatorial
8/11/2022 Wyoming Gubernatorial
8/11/2022 U.S. Virgin Islands Gubernatorial
8/11/2022 Virginia Mayoral (Newport News)

Who Can Vote in 2022 US Elections?

All citizens who comply with the following voting requirements may exercise their right to vote in the United States. The common voting requirements, valid to every US state, are:

  • Being a US citizen
  • Meeting their state’s residency requirements
  • Being 18 years old on or before Election Day
  • Certain states allow voters to register to vote before they turn 18 if they will be 18 by Election Day
  • Being registered to vote prior to their state’s voter registration deadline (except in North Dakota, which does not require voter registration)

Voting requirements in the US are different in every state. Nevertheless, there are basic qualifications every US voter must meet in order to exercise their right to vote in local, state or federal elections.

Voter Identification Requirements Per State

As mentioned above, voter identification requirements vary from one US state to the next. While a few of them require no documentation at all, most states require government-issued photo IDs.

Alaska, Colorado, and West Virginia allow citizens to vote by presenting a certified copy of their US Birth Certificate.

The following table lists the Photo ID and Non-Photo ID for each US state.

Photo ID Non-Photo ID
Strict Georgia Arizona
Indiana North Dakota
Kansas Ohio
Mississippi
Tennessee
Virginia
Wisconsin
Non-Strict Arkansas Alaska
Alabama Colorado
Florida Connecticut
Hawaii Delaware
Idaho Iowa
Louisiana Kentucky
Michigan Missouri
North Carolina Montana
Rhode Island New Hampshire
South Carolina Oklahoma
South Dakota Utah
Washington
West Virginia

Voter ID Discrimination and Controversy

As of September 2016, 33 states had enacted some form of voter ID requirement.

If you are wondering what voter ID laws are about and how they discriminate against voters, it would be interesting to look over the case of Texas. Texas’ 2011 voter ID law and why it was rejected by the US Justice Department of Justice is quite an illustrating example.

This law required Texas voters to produce valid photo IDs in order to vote. The problem is that 18 percent of registered voters throughout the state of Texas apparently lack state government-issued photo IDs that adequately match their voter registration cards.

Name and address mismatch is also a problem in this situation. Hundreds of voters either have the same first and last name within the same county, or have changed names (due to marriage, divorce or adoption), registered to vote with a nickname or new home address.

Additionally, one-third of said voters did not have facilities nearby, where they could obtain a state-issued photo ID. Some extreme cases included residents living more than 100 miles (160km) away from the nearest bureau.

This new voter identification requirement affected up to 2.3 million voters, according to an analysis by the Houston Chronicle.

The situation is even direr in Hispanic communities where up to 40% of voters lack the required government-issued photo IDs to vote.

Read more: Birth certificates for election identification in Texas

What US Citizens Can Do Before an Election Day in 2022

If you do not have your government-issued photo ID up-to-date, do your best to renew it as soon as possible. Most forms of US photo IDs require citizens to provide a certified copy of their US Birth Certificate alongside the application form.

Make sure to order a government-issued, legally-valid US Birth Certificate online to save yourself some time and hassle before Election Day.

US citizens interested in obtaining specific information in regard to state voter ID requirements may contact election officials in the jurisdiction where they wish to register and vote.

For more info on voter identification laws in effect for every US state in 2022, you may visit the National Conference of State Legislatures at NCSL.org.

What Is a Midterm Election Year?

United States midterm elections are general federal elections that occur close to the half-way point of a president’s four-year term of office. They usually take place after the first Monday in November.

The following offices usually go up for election during midterm elections:

  • All 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives
  • 33 or 34 of the 100 seats in the United States Senate
  • 36 of the 50 U.S. states elect governors

Various other local elections are often held in the midterms, including legislative, municipal, mayoral, and county elections. Historically, there is usually lower voter turnout at midterm elections.