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UNC Chapel Hill preps campus card for voter identification

Andrew Hudson   ||   Nov 01, 2019  ||   ,

The bill in North Carolina that would make university student ID cards a valid form of voter identification is still stirring would-be student voters. The latest university to grapple with the issue is the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where university officials are working to meet the card issuance requirements by the new November 15 deadline.

The legislation in question, House Bill 646, was passed in June and outlines the amendments that universities need to apply to the card issuance process in order to make their IDs valid at the polls. According to a report from the Daily Tarheel, there are still some pieces missing before the UNC One Card can gain approval from the North Carolina State Board of Elections.

The university must first submit the official attestation form signed by the university chancellor, president or registrar, as well as provide sample images of all identification cards. In response to the matter, UNC Media Relations released the following statement:

"The University is committed to supporting the ability of our students, faculty and staff to exercise their constitutional right to vote. We're working closely with the University System and the State Board of Elections to meet the November 15 deadline and we remain hopeful that our One Cards will be able to be used as voting identification."

The conversation around voter identification and North Carolina state campus cards has been a lengthy one. HB 646 has weathered initial pushback, at times unreasonable logistical demands, and numerous deadline changes.

The university compliance form now states that if the picture on the student ID card was not produced by the institution listed -- for example, submitted online by the student -- it is up to the institution to “certify in detail the process used by the university or college to ensure the photograph is that of the student to whom the identification card is issued.”

For some campuses, the requirements laid out by House Bill 646 have mandated changes to the existing card issuance process including verifying student social security numbers, citizenship status and birthdate. The required addition of expiration dates printed to campus cards is another hurdle that presents some issuance challenges.

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