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Idaho bill would ban student ID card for voter identification

A new bill introduced in the state of Idaho would ban use of student ID cards as valid voter identification. The bill would also eliminate same-day voter registration in the state.

As reported by The Arbiter, House Bill 549 would remove the option to sign a voter affidavit verifying a voter’s identity at the polls on Election Day. The bill would also render student IDs invalid as a form of ID verification.

Idaho joins a host of other states that are currently weighing the role of the student ID card in state voting and elections. In most cases where the student credential is being contested as a form of identity verification, the components of the campus card itself are playing a central role. Specifically, the need for expiration dates, cardholder photos, birthdates, and in some cases issue dates have all been raised as potential hurdles.

If passed, Idaho’s HB 549 would go into effect ahead of this year’s primary elections.

According to Rep. Dorothy Moon, the bill’s sponsor, one problem with the use of student IDs as a form of identity verification is that they don’t confirm whether the ID holder is a U.S. citizen.

One counter opinion questions whether removing student credentials as a form of ID might prevent some college students from voting in their university’s district, as alternate forms of identification might list an address in a different state or district.

The state of Idaho’s voter affidavit option enables citizens to vote without identification, provided they sign a sworn statement under penalty of perjury verifying their identity.

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