Campus Cards, College and University Identification and Security

Will voter ID laws lower college student vote?

Friday, July 6, 2012

Tougher voter ID laws in many states have some wondering if they could hinder voter turnout among college students.

There seems to be no definitive ID law. What’s required at the voting booth varies from state to state. Tennessee, for example, requires voters to present a photo ID to vote, but student IDs aren’t considered valid for that purpose. A Texas law, which is now in the courts, enables use of a concealed weapons permit as a voter ID, but not a student ID card.


In Pennsylvania, a photo ID with an expiration date is required. Many schools there are producing stickers that can be affixed to student IDs.

A new voter ID law in Kansas is less restrictive. It requires students to submit a photo ID to cast a ballot, but student IDs from any “accredited postsecondary institution in Kansas” are considered acceptable. Missourians can use non-photo IDs, and college, university, and vocational and technical school IDs are valid in the state.

The new laws set up “more obstacles (for student voters),” commented an attorney with the Atlanta-based Voting Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union. “For a demographic that sometimes struggles to get out to the polls, it’s much more challenging.”

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State College Area High School is now using school-issued IDs to log student attendance and record violations.

Beginning April 7, State College Area High School students will swipe their student identification card upon arriving at school in the morning. Curtis Johnson, associate principal at State High School North, insists the new system will improve the accuracy of attendance records and hopefully raise academic performance as students won’t be able to fake class attendance.

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North Carolina’s new voter ID law will exclude the use of a college, university student ID as an adequate form of identification, according to The Seahawk.

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A student ID can verify an individual’s identity with a simple swipe, tap or scan, instantly tethering the person who presents the card to a user account on the backend system. But what happens when the cardholder no longer uses their legal name?

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The use of Social Security numbers has once again become a hot-button topic in Louisiana legislature, particularly for students who often share the sensitive data even without parental knowledge.

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