It’s becoming harder than ever to vote in 14 critical states

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Voters head to the polls.
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Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Fourteen states will have voting restrictions in place for the presidential election in November.

States are implementing new rules, such as forcing voters to show ID at the polls or restricting early voting, for the first time since 2013, when the Supreme Court gutted Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which was meant to ensure all voters have the same voting rights, especially voters in traditionally disenfranchised groups.

Many of these rules are being implemented in right-leaning states that have increasing numbers of black and Hispanic voters in recent elections – groups that are most at risk of disenfranchisement over voting restrictions, according to an analysis by the Brennan Center for Justice, a nonpartisan public policy institute.

Despite Donald Trump’s claims that the election will be “rigged,” evidence of voter fraud is scarce. Most fraud in elections is due to due to clerical errors and typos rather than anything nefarious, like voter impersonation, according to the Brennan Center.

A 2012 News21 analysis found that among the 146 million registered voters between 2000 and 2012, there were only 10 cases of voter impersonation in that time.

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The 14 states (highlighted in red) with new voter restrictions.
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Brennan Center

Many say the laws unfairly target minority and immigrant groups. For example, a federal judge called on the state of Wisconsin to investigate claims that officials at the Department of Motor Vehicles were systematically denying people the documents they need to vote in November in an effort to disenfranchise black voters.

“No eligible American should lose their right to vote because they don’t have a photo ID,” Myrna Perez, the deputy director of the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program, told Business Insider. “And it’s clear that the strictest of these laws are targeting certain groups.”

A new report from the Williams Institute found that around 34,000 transgender voters may be effectively blocked from voting in states that require photo IDs because the IDs may not accurately reflect their gender.

In Virginia, a crucial swing-state, there is an ongoing battle to restore voting rights to around 200,000 felons.

“Voting is the most fundamental right in our democracy, and we shouldn’t pass laws that prevent people from having their voice heard,” Perez said.

Here are the 14 states with voting restriction laws in place for the 2016 presidential election »


Alabama

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Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore
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Butch Dill/AP

Alabama will require photo ID for all voters in November, such as a driver’s license, US passport, or state ID. Alabama’s law was passed through a Republican-controlled legislature in 2011.

Alabama also passed a law in 2011 requiring voters to provide proof of citizenship to vote, but the law is subject to ongoing litigation.


Arizona

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Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio
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Reuters/Laura Segall

Arizona implemented limits on ballot collection. It’s now a felony to collect and turn in another voter’s ballot – even with the person’s permission.

Arizona passed the law in 2016, and Republican Gov. Doug Ducey signed it.


Indiana

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Indiana Gov. Mike Pence
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REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

In 2013, Gov. Mike Pence, Donald Trump’s running mate on the Republican ticket, approved a law that allows additional “party-nominated” officials to ask for voters’ proof of identification.


Kansas

Kansas requires that voters using the state registration form provide “documentary proof of citizenship.” The state has since 2010 required voters to provide photo ID.

The documentary proof law, signed by a Republican governor, has been the subject of multiple lawsuits. In 2014, a federal court ruled that the law was “unenforceable” on the federal mail-in registration form.


Mississippi

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Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant
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Washington Post Live

Mississippi will require photo ID to vote in 2016. The law was passed by referendum in 2011, and went into effect after the Supreme Court ruled against key parts of the Voting Rights Act.

Mississippi had the one of the highest turnout of black voters in 2008, according to the Brennan Center.


Nebraska

In 2013, Nebraska reduced the early voting period from a minimum of 35 days to 30 days. The new rule was signed by former Gov. Dave Heineman, a Republican.


New Hampshire

New Hampshire will request photo ID to vote starting in 2016. If voters can’t provide an ID, their photo will be taken at the polls.

The former governor of New Hampshire, Democrat John Lynch, tried to veto the rule in 2012 but was overridden by the Republican-controlled Legislature.


Ohio

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Ohio Gov. John Kasich
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Thomson Reuters

In 2014, Ohio eliminated the “Golden Week” of early voting, when voters could register and cast a ballot in the same trip.

A coalition of grassroots organizations challenged the elimination in May 2015. An Ohio trial court ruled that the elimination of Golden Week violated the Voting Rights Act because it disproportionately affected black voters, according to the Brennan Center.

However, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the state in August, and the Supreme Court declined in September to stay the circuit’s decision.


Rhode Island

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Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo
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Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Fortune/Time In

Rhode Island will request all voters show photo ID. However, Rhode Island’s photo ID rules are much less restrictive than ones in other states, according to the Brennan Center, as the state permits a wide range of IDs – as long as they show the voter’s name and face.

Rhode Island’s rule was passed in 2011 through a Democratic-controlled Legislature and signed into law by an independent governor.


South Carolina

South Carolina will require photo ID to vote in 2016 unless the voter has a “reasonable impediment” to obtaining an ID, according to the Brennan Center.

The law was passed in 2011 by a Republican-controlled Legislature, but the Brennan Center notes that that South Carolina’s law is less restrictive than other states, as voters will be able to sign an affidavit at the polls and vote with a provisional ballot.


Tennessee

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Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam
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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Tennessee will require voters to have photo ID issued by the state. The state has also reduced the early voting period, and required proof-of-citizenship during the 2012 election.

The law with all three restrictions was signed by a Republican governor in 2011, and the voter ID law was strengthened in 2013.


Texas

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Texas Gov. Rick Perry
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Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images

Texas will require a photo ID at the polls in 2016 unless the voter has a “reasonable impediment” to obtaining ID. In 2011, Texas curbed voter registration drives.

A federal court initially rejected the photo ID law in 2012, under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. However, the state implemented the law in 2014, after the Supreme Court gutted parts of the Voting Rights Act.


Virginia

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Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe
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Thomson Reuters

Virginia will require photo ID to vote and limit third-party voter registration.

The third-party voter registration rule reduces the amount of time to submit the necessary applications from 15 days to 10. The laws were passed by a Republican governor in 2013, and will go into effect for the first time in the 2016 election.

In July, the Virginia Supreme Court ruled that Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s executive order – restoring voting rights to convicted felons who have completed the terms of their incarceration – violated Virginia’s constitution.

McAuliffe announced that he would sign individual orders restoring the voting rights to over 200,000 Virginians who have completed their sentences.


Wisconsin

Wisconsin will require a photo ID to vote in 2016. The rule was passed by a Republican-controlled Legislature in 2014, and signed into law by a Republican governor.

A federal judge ordered Wisconsin to investigate whether some Department of Motor Vehicles employees were denying residents the proper documents they need to vote, Milwaukee Public Radio reported.

The American Civil Liberties Union also contends that some DMV workers had been denying residents documents and failing to tell them about the proper way to obtain an ID.

All data was provided courtesy of the Brennan Center.