General Assembly considers law allowing use of student IDs to vote

Updated: May. 22, 2019 at 7:08 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The General Assembly met Tuesday to discuss allowing student and employee IDs to be considered eligible for voting in future elections.

In December 2018, a constitutional amendment voted on by the public made photo identification a requirement. When the law changed, a dozen schools within the UNC system had IDs that were no longer eligible forms of ID.

Some students at UNC-Wilmington feel their IDs should already be considered eligible forms of ID, based on the standards they already have to meet in order to be enrolled in school.

“Whenever I heard student IDs wouldn’t be used, I was surprised just because of all the stuff you have to put in to get a student ID and its valid. Its valid use for discounts and other things so I don’t know why ... it seems like a logical next step to also use this for a valid voter ID,” said student Manuel Lloyd.

One issue with current IDs is that some schools allow students to take personal photos and use them on their ID. Many student ID cards also lack an expiration date.

The most recent proposal would relax restrictions, making it possible for students to be able to use their student IDs to vote in the 2020 election. Schools that do not apply for their ID’s to be eligible or don’t fall in accordance with the law must wait until 2021 to be considered again.

After the law goes into place, all schools would have to reapply every two years for student and employee IDs to be eligible to vote.

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