The student government presidents at Iowa’s three public universities are speaking out against a new proposal to require Iowa voters to show their IDs at the polls. “We know firsthand how difficult it is to get students registered to vote already — with frequent address changes and being introduced to the electoral process for the first time — the last thing students need is another barrier to their participation,” student government leaders at the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa said in a statement released Sunday. The joint statement came in response to a plan released last week by Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate, which calls for requiring voters to present an ID, which could include an Iowa driver’s license, passport or military ID card. College IDs would not be accepted, but Pate’s plan calls for issuing a new free ID to all existing active voters. Signatures would be verified at polling sites.
The proposal will be considered during this year’s legislative session, which began Monday. Democratic legislators and civil libertarians have promised a fight over the issue, raising concerns that new rules could suppress voter turnout.
“One our biggest frustrations is that the Secretary of State’s Office has shown in the past that they recognize (college-age) people face more barriers to voting than the average citizen,” said Rachel Zuckerman, president of UI Student Government. “… Adding an extra, burdensome step means that, realistically …some of our students will be disenfranchised.”
Full Article: UI, ISU, UNI student leaders challenge Voter ID proposal.