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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A month-old security policy at Emerson College, called Tap and Go already has some off-campus students raising safety and usability concerns.

Under the new system, everyone entering an Emerson campus building must tap their IDs or be signed in. The policy also mandates that the outside doors of residence halls be locked automatically, requiring a campus ID to enter, according to a report in the Berkeley Beacon.

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A student’s life doesn’t have to be all work and no play. Moreover, when your university is located in a city like Pasadena, California where there’s a lot to do, why not take a study break?

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St. Petersburg College and the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority have launched the new Universal Pass initiative, which enables SPC students and employees to ride the bus for free by showing their university ID as they board.

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The Taipei City Government yesterday announced an implementation plan that would require students in the country’s major metropolises to register for student EasyCards, which provide discounts on bus fares.

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