Officials with the Government Accountability Board have backed away from two controversial interpretations of election laws that some argued would have made it easier for college students to vote and political organizations to recall politicians.
The move, announced just prior to a meeting by the Legislature’s body that reviews agency rules, came in response to Republican concerns last week that the policies could lead to cases of voter fraud. The change by GAB officials led Democrats to immediately accuse the nonpartisan agency of succumbing to pressure by the majority party.
In implementing the state’s new voter ID law, which requires voters to present a photo ID when they cast a ballot, GAB ruled in September that universities could attach stickers to student IDs to bring them into compliance. The stickers would need to contain an issuance date, expiration date, a signature and some form of identifying logo. IDs issued by technical and trade schools would not be valid.
College students typically lean Democratic, so making it harder for them to vote is seen by Democrats as a way to shift the vote in favor of Republicans.