When Is It OK For An Election Judge To Ask For A Voter's ID?

By Stephen Gossett in News on Nov 8, 2016 7:41PM

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CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 15: Voters casts their ballots at ChiArts High School on March 15, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. Voters in Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, Florida and Ohio vote in primary elections today. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)


This Election Day
, some voters are reporting having been unduly challenged to show ID at the polling places in Illinois.

Tim Fletcher, 35, told Chicagoist that he saw some voters, who appeared to be registered, were asked for ID at his polling place, in Resurrection Covenant Church, in North Center. "The person five [spaces] in front of me. It looked like the same procedure. It didn't seem like they were registering," Fletcher said.

Michael Baird, 38, told Chicagoist that he was asked for his ID at his polling place, at Dvorak Park in Pilsen, despite being registered under his current address.

FiveThirtyEight contributor Julia Azari on Tuesday relayed an account of an African-American woman reportedly being asked for ID and also missing a portion of her ballot, a phenomenon we noted earlier on Tuesday:

"A friend in Chicago reports some pretty disturbing events from the polls this morning. She’s African-American and her husband is white, and they had pretty different experiences at their voting location. She was asked for a photo ID; he wasn’t. She only received part of her ballot at first, and they gave her the other half after she’d already started filling out the first part. Her husband also reported that the only other white voter in line, a man wearing a suit, was invited to cut in line because he was clearly “in a hurry.” (The man declined.) I have no idea if this is representative of what’s happening elsewhere, but it’s not encouraging."

According to the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners, voters do not need to show ID under these circumstances: "the voter is already registered at the voter's current address and is voting in the correct precinct; signature appears to match the voter signature on file; election judges do not challenge the person;s right to vote."

One form of ID is needed if a judge challenges the person's right to vote, according to Board of Election.

Often that case may be to a missing detail from a first-time voter who failed to include a necessary detail in their postal registration. Vote.org notes: "If you registered to vote by mail, are voting for the first time, and didn’t provide your driver’s license number, state ID number, last 4 digits of your Social Security number, or a copy of a current ID or government document that shows your name and address when you registered, you’ll need to provide one of these when you vote in person during early voting or on Election Day."

Two forms of ID should only be requested if you're registering at the time of vote of filing an address or name change.

In those cases, the following are acceptable ID, according to the Board of Elections:
- Passport or Military ID
- Driver's License or State ID card
- College/University/School/Work ID
- Vehicle registration card
- Lease, mortgage or deed to home
- Credit or debit card
- Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid card
- Insurance card
- Civic, union or professional membership card
- LINK/Public Aid/Department of Human Services card
- Illinois FOID card
- Bill, Transcript or Report Card from School
- Bank Statement, Pay Stub or Pension Statement
- Utility, Medical or Insurance Bill
- Official mail from any government agency

If you're asked unnecessarily to provide identification, notify the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners (312.269.7870, @ChicagoElection).

A lot of poll workers are volunteers who are new to the process and might not know the correct policy. This election is too important not to vote because weren't carrying an ID.