By Equal Voice Action
Aiming to ensure maximum impact for Election 2020, EVA organizational member VoteRiders is launching a broad-based national campaign to guarantee the right to vote for millions more Americans by Election Day. Read about VoteRiders’ free voter ID resources, including free financial and legal support for getting you or a family member a valid voter ID, as well as free state-specific voter ID information cards and voter ID clinics for organizations working in civic engagement.
Need help with your voter ID now? Call or text VoteRiders’ free helpline at 844-338-8743.
Is your organization working in civic engagement in a state with voter ID laws? Print or order state-specific voter ID information cards, in English or Spanish, here; learn about hosting a voter ID clinic with VoteRiders here; and direct eligible voters in need of ID assistance to the VoteRiders helpline: 844-338-8743.
How VoteRiders Helps: Voter ID Stories
“I’ve never voted in my life and I haven’t had a driver’s license in ten years. Now I get to vote and I get a driver’s license. It feels amazing. I really feel like I have what I need to make a difference.”– Montrell, a Florida resident who secured a valid voter ID with help from VoterRiders
Montrell, a 30-year old native of Orlando, Florida, became eligible to vote after Florida passed Amendment 4, which allows citizens who have completed the terms of a felony conviction to register and vote. Eager to vote but facing a suspended license, Montrell connected with a staff member from VoteRiders, a national nonpartisan, nonprofit organization whose mission is to ensure that all eligible citizens are able to exercise their right to vote.
While they couldn’t help with driving suspension fines, the VoteRiders team accompanied Montrell on a visit to his local DMV, where VoteRiders covered the cost of his license reinstatement ($45.00) and driver’s license ($64.00). With a valid driver’s license and ID for voting, Montrell expressed his desire to give back: “I want to help change the world. I feel like every opinion counts.”
Direct financial assistance for valid ID is just one way that VoteRiders helps ensure that eligible voters have the identification they need to vote in their state.
In Arizona, VoteRiders connected with a woman whose divorce from an abusive marriage left her with a mix of identification using her maiden name and her former married name. Arizona DMV officials should have accepted her identifying documents but were confused by the different names and declined to do so, preventing her from applying for a new driver’s license. VoteRiders connected her with a pro bono attorney who helped her advocate for her rights in getting a driver’s license with the documents she had, and she now has a valid ID to vote and drive in Arizona.
And in Georgia, VoteRiders helped Quanisha, a young woman who aged out of the foster care system with only a copy of her birth certificate, to get the documentation she needed to secure both a certified birth certificate and a Georgia state ID. She can now use her ID to vote, get a job, and build her future.
Voter ID Laws Affect Millions, Especially Poor and Low-Income Voters
Voter ID stories like these highlight the all-too-common challenges many Americans face in getting a valid ID, from lack of funds to hardships and confusion around securing the required documentation. This often difficult, drawn-out, and costly process prevents many eligible voters from getting the ID they need to access their rights at the ballot box.
As of January 2020, 35 states have some form of voter ID law in place, with 12 of them classified as having “strict” voter ID laws, including Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Mississippi, North Dakota, Ohio, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Restrictive voter ID laws disproportionately impact poor and low-income voters, people of color, older Americans, young adults, and people with disabilities. This includes people who don’t drive, don’t have access to a local DMV (which for some people may be up to 100 miles away), and those who lack funds, a fixed home address, or essential documentation. As a result, more than 25 million voting-age Americans do not have a valid government-issued photo ID.
That’s where VoteRiders comes in. With the goal of expanding access to the voting booth, VoteRiders is launching its Guarantee the Vote 2020 campaign to ensure that millions more eligible voters know their rights and have a valid ID to vote heading into the November 2020 election.
As part of this push, VoteRiders offer a range of free resources for individuals in need of ID, as well as organizations who are working on the ground to engage and empower voters.
Voter ID Resources for Individuals
For individuals, VoteRiders offers free assistance for any eligible voter who encounters barriers to securing his or her ID to vote, including financial and legal help obtaining underlying documents like birth certificates, change of name documentation, and more.
If you or someone you know needs assistance or has questions about obtaining the necessary ID in your state, you can call or text VoteRiders’ toll-free Voter ID helpline at 844-338-8743.
VoteRiders has also produced voter ID information flyers and wallet-sized cards for all 50 states, as well as detailed voter ID guides for Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, and other key states for our membership and allies. Find your state here to download, print, and share resources on voter ID laws and acceptable forms of ID in your state. VoteRiders’ resources are available in English and Spanish.
Voter ID Resources for Organizations
VoteRiders prints and ships, free of charge, state voter ID information cards to any nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that has a plan to distribute them to voters. The minimum order is 25 cards, with orders typically delivered within 8 days. Representatives of registered 501(c)(3) organizations can use this form to order cards for distribution through their civic engagement or voter education activities.
VoteRiders also partners with organizations to host voter ID clinics that help eligible voters obtain their birth certificate, change-of-name, and other documents required to secure valid voter ID or proof of citizenship where required to register to vote. These clinics can be hosted on their own or as part of a partner organization’s voter registration campaign or other civic engagement efforts.
Finally, partners can also share out the VoteRiders chatbot, which provides quick and easy information about what form of ID is needed to vote in a given state. The chatbot is available in English and Spanish, and can be accessed via text, Facebook Messenger, or web chat.
As voters in many states face increasing restrictions, now is the time to ensure that our families and communities have the identification we need to make our voice heard at the ballot box. If you need individual assistance or your nonprofit organization is working in civic engagement, connect with VoteRiders for free help and resources for securing acceptable voter identification in your state. This knowledge is power – power for exercising our rights, sharing our voice, and standing up for our families.
An organizational member of Equal Voice Action, VoteRiders is a non-partisan, non-profit organization founded in 2012 with a mission to ensure that all citizens are able to exercise their right to vote. VoteRiders informs and helps citizens to secure their voter ID as well as inspires and supports organizations, local volunteers, and communities to sustain voter ID education and assistance efforts.
Want to volunteer to help VoteRiders guarantee the right to vote for people in your state and across the country? Learn more here.