Suevon Lee, ProPublica
Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Lydia Howell
A local resident casts her vote at a polling station in Sandy Springs, Ga., on March 6, 2012. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Voter IDs laws have become a political flashpoint  in what's gearing up to be another close election year. Supporters say the laws — which 30 states  have now enacted in some form — are needed to combat voter fraud, while critics see them as a tactic to disenfranchise voters.
We've taken a step back to look at the facts behind the laws and break down the issues at the heart of the debate.
So what are these laws?
They are measures intended to ensure that a registered voter is who he says he is and not an impersonator trying to cast a ballot in someone else's name. The laws, most of which have been passed in the last several years, require that registered voters show ID before they're allowed to vote. Exactly what they need to show varies. Some states require a government-issued photo, while in others a current utility bill or bank statement is sufficient.