Trump called for all voters to present photo ID, a rule critics say is unnecessary and damaging
President Donald Trump made it clear this week that he thinks voters should have to show identification before casting their ballots, much as, he claimed, people need to regularly show ID to buy groceries.
“The time has come for voter ID like everything else,” Trump said at a rally in Tampa on Tuesday.
Most states — 34 — already have laws that require people to show some form of ID before they cast ballots.
Seven of these states go further and require a photo ID, and an eighth state, Alabama, comes very close to this rule but allows a strict exception in which people without a photo ID can vote so long as two election officials know the individual.
Four states have passed additional regulations on voter ID since the 2016 election.
But it’s unlikely states could pass any further changes before the Nov. 6 midterms because of timing.
Wendy Underhill, of the National Conference of State Legislators’ Elections and Redistricting Program, said there’s “not a chance in the world” that states are able to pass meaningful changes to their existing identification rules before the midterms.
“Most legislatures are out of session this year and by the time they come back next year whether what President Trump said this week still has power remains to be seen,” she said.
Changes since 2016
Four states that have made the voter identification requirements more specific and strict since the 2016 election – Arkansas, Iowa, Missouri and North Dakota – are all facing legal challenges.
And Underhill said she does not see a new trend toward stricter voter ID laws.
“There is absolutely in my mind no uptick, no further trend on this from 2016 to the present,” she said.
That comes in stark contrast to the period of 2011 to 2013, when Underhill said voter ID restrictions were “the hottest issue in election administration.”