Student leadership and university officials faced off Thursday at the state Capitol over a bill that would create a new student identification option for voting amid questions of student safety and over whether it creates a special class of voters. The House Government and Veterans Affairs Committee heard testimony on Senate Bill 2330, which would add a university-issued student ID as an acceptable form of ID for voting. The new IDs would need to list a student’s date of birth and residential address and would be issued beginning Jan. 1. Universities would also be required to provide information on voting eligibility requirements. The debate centered on whether a new student photo ID would enable more students to vote, as well as whether the action would create a special class of voters. The idea of student information on the IDs drew criticism from university officials based on safety concerns.
North Dakota State University president Dean Bresciani pointed to a survey from the university’s public policy center released this week. The survey estimated 689 students statewide had problems voting last November due to residency requirement issues. Bresciani said it was bothersome that so many students were turned away but it was the student’s responsibility to know state voting laws. “Part of the point of going to college is learning to be a responsible person,” Bresciani said.
Dickinson State University president D.C. Coston said it would be expensive to make new IDs. It was estimated it would cost $375,000 to replace ID cards and the equipment for producing them.
Full Article: Student IDs for voting sets off heated debate.