The North Carolina Senate on Thursday rolled out its voter identification bill, scaling back the number of acceptable photo IDs to cast a ballot in person starting in 2016 and could make it more difficult for young people to vote. The bill sets out seven qualifying forms of photo ID. But they do not include university-issued IDs, like the House allowed for University of North Carolina system and community college students when it passed a bill three months ago. The Senate also removed from its list those cards issued by local governments, for police, firefighters and other first responders, and for people receiving government assistance. Someone who doesn’t present an approved ID could cast a provisional ballot, but would have to return to an elections office with an ID for the vote to count. “We have tweaked it, tightened (it) up some with the particular IDs that will be accepted,” said Sen. Tom Apodaca, R-Henderson and chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, which neither debated nor voted on the measure Thursday.
Senate and House negotiators struck a last-minute deal yesterday to reform New Hampshire’s voter ID law, ensuring student ID cards will continue to be accepted as a valid form of identification at the polls. “I think it’s a good compromise,” said Rep. Gary Richardson of Hopkinton, the Democratic floor leader in the House. Negotiations between the Republican-led Senate and Democratic-led House on a bill making changes to last year’s voter ID law broke down early in the week. But the two sides continue to talk informally, and yesterday morning the committee of conference chaired by Richardson finalized a new version of the bill. It will go before the House and Senate on Wednesday for a final vote. If it passes, it will go to Gov. Maggie Hassan, a Democrat.
The state Senate Thursday passed with strict party line votes legislation that changes the current state voter identification law by removing its clear statutory reference to student IDs as an acceptable form of voter ID. The Senate, also along party lines, changed the House-passed voter registration bill by restoring reference to motor vehicle laws that had been removed by the House. The current voter ID law allowed for the 2012 election a list of seven forms of identification acceptable at a polling place, including a student ID, and absent any of those, verification of the person’s identity by a local election official. If a voter was challenged, the voter would fill out a “challenged voter affidavit.”
New York: Dutchess college students win voting rights suit with federal court settlement | Daily Freeman
Dutchess County’s Republican elections commissioner has agreed to stop demanding college students provide the name of their dorms and their room number in order to register to vote. That agreement, approved on May 13 by U.S. District Judge Kenneth Karas, settles a class action suit brought by four students attending colleges in Dutchess County who claimed they were illegally denied the right to vote in the 2012 election. Dutchess County Democratic Elections Commissioner Fran Knapp called the agreement “a great victory for student voting rights here in Dutchess County.”
Republicans in the Ohio Legislature are pushing a plan that could cost the state’s public universities millions of dollars if they provide students with documents to help them register to vote. Backers of the bill describe it as intended to resolve discrepancies between residency requirements for tuition and voter registration, while Democrats and other opponents argue it is a blatant attempt at voter suppression in a crucial swing state. “What the bill would do is penalize public universities for providing their students with the documents they need to vote,” Daniel Tokaji, a professor and election law expert at Ohio State University told TPM. “It’s a transparent effort at vote suppression — about the most blatant and shameful we’ve seen in this state, which is saying quite a lot.” The legislation is a provision in the state budget that was backed by the Republican majority in the Ohio House of Representatives. It is now headed to the Ohio Senate, which also has a GOP majority.
Ohio Republicans want to force universities to grant in-state tuition to students from other states if the schools provide documents that allow the students to register to vote in Ohio, a move that could cost universities millions. Republicans in the state House, who included the provision in the state budget now under consideration in the Senate, say they’re trying to streamline the system. Critics say the amendment really is designed to prevent universities from making voting easy for out-of-state students — who traditionally disproportionately vote Democratic.
Along party lines, a Senate committee on Wednesday supported on a 3-2 vote changing the current state voter identification law by removing its clear statutory reference to student IDs as an acceptable form of voter ID. Also Wednesday, the Senate Public and Municipal Affairs Committee voted — again along partisan lines — to recommend passage of legislation that addresses the requirements that one needs to meet to register to vote. Committee Chairman David Boutin, R-Hooksett, said although the specific reference to a student ID is removed under his voter ID amendment, it would allow state university system student IDs to be used under a broad requirement that the would-be voters produce “a nondriver’s identification card issued by” a “department, agency or office of any state.”
An amendment snuck into the budget bill passed by the Republican-controlled Ohio House on April 18 would force public universities to decide between charging lucrative out-of-state tuition rates or providing out-of-state students with documents required for voting in Ohio, raising concerns from Democrats that Republicans are attempting to limit voting opportunities in the state once again. The measure would force public universities to classify students living on campus as in-state if they receive utility bills or official letters that can be used for identification when voting in Ohio.
A Republican budget amendment could cost Ohio University up to $12 million in lost out-of-state tuition, or otherwise make it more difficult for some college students to vote in Athens. The proposal pits these two interests against each other in the Ohio House’s substitute budget bill that has passed the Republican-controlled state House of Representatives chamber and is now under consideration by the state Senate. The provision mandates that an institution of higher learning must charge in-state tuition to any student to whom it provides a letter or utility bill that can be shown to prove residency and vote in Ohio.
North Carolina: Voter ID Opponents React To Bill’s Passage, Vow To Continue To Fight | Huffington Post
Opponents of a voter ID bill that passed the North Carolina House on Wednesday are not backing down, vowing to continue to fight what they say is a discriminatory practice. The measure, which passed the House in a 81-36 vote, would require voters to show a state-issued ID in order to vote. It would also make student IDs from public colleges a legal form of identification, but not student IDs from private institutions, and it would tax the parents of college students who register to vote in the state where they are attending school. The changes would go into effect in 2016 if the bill becomes law. College students quietly protested the bill in the Statehouse Wednesday as the vote took place. They wore black tape over their mouths bearing phrases like “Justice” and “My voice is being silenced.”
Ohio: Tuition saver or vote suppressor? GOP plan for college-student residency stirs controversy | The Columbus Dispatch
A Republican budget amendment approved last week has Ohio universities worried about the potential annual loss of more than $100 million in tuition payments, while Democrats see it as an effort to suppress voting by college students. Under the GOP proposal, an institution must charge in-state tuition if it provides an out-of-state student with a letter or utility bill that the student can use to show residency and vote in Ohio. The provision, university officials say, would reduce tuition for thousands of out-of-state students who now pay up to $15,500 more than in-state students. Republicans say the provision is, indeed, aimed at lowering tuition.
Three Republican senators are apparently so anxious to suppress Democratic-leaning voters that they have gone to an extreme considered heresy in the GOP: They’re proposing a tax increase. Young voters, especially college-aged students, have been trending Democratic in recent elections. Often rallied by campus get-out-the-vote efforts, students can be a significant factor in college-town elections.
Many North Carolina voters may face a shock when they next go to the polls. Republican state legislators have proposed three bills that restrict access to the voting ballot by adding additional fees on the parents of college students who register to vote in a county that is not where their home address is located and by requiring photo identification to vote. The first bill, SB 667, which affects North Carolina residents and has caused a great deal of controversy. The bill states that “If the voter is a dependent of the voter’s parent or legal guardian, is 18 years of age or older and the voter has registered at an address other than that of the parent or legal guardian, the parent or legal guardian will not be allowed to claim the voter as a dependent for state income tax purposes.” The exemptions given to North Carolina parents is worth anywhere from $2,000 to $2,500, and if the law is passed, these parents would face an increase in their taxes. According to an article published by the Huffington Post April 5, “Republican sponsors have defended their push to reform voting laws as a way to save money.”
State Sen. Dan Soucek of Boone said he supports fairness and equity in voting when asked about his co-sponsorship of bills that would impact college students and where they vote. Soucek responded to several questions about Senate bills 666 and 667, which would bar parents from listing their children as dependents on state tax forms if the children register to vote at a different address. The state typically grants tax deductions ranging from $2,000 to $2,500 per child dependent. Soucek said that his co-sponsorship of the bills means he wants to be in on the discussion of a proposal that interests his district — “but this isn’t my bill,” he said. The senator said his support for the bill is motivated by basic principle and by a specific event. “(It’s about the) basic fairness and equity of voting, and what standards does a voter need to have to vote in a community?” he said.