College students who want to vote in the state where they go to school have some hurdles to jump. In Minnesota, for example, a proposed Voter Restriction Constitutional Amendment on the state’s November ballot would require a valid state photo ID to vote. Under the law, students in the University of Minnesota system would be able to vote with their U-Cards, issued by the school at voting booths on campus, according to the Twin Cities Daily Planet. However, the same is not true for students at private colleges in the state; they would be required to seek an ID from the Department of Vehicle Services stations. At Minnesota private schools like the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University or Concordia University, the 17 to 28 percent of students who come from out of state would find it harder to vote in local and federal elections in Minnesota. At the Minneapolis College of Art and Design the 42 percent out-of-state students would also need a Minnesota ID to vote.
Because an out-of-state ID is accepted for nearly everything else a student does — driving; buying cigarettes, alcohol or lotto tickets; proof of age to enter nightclubs — many out-of-state students in Minnesota and elsewhere do not bother getting a new one for the state where they attend college.
“My personal thinking is that [voter ID amendment] will restrict the ability of our students to vote,” Macalester College Card Services Manager Onenee Saloka told the Daily Planet of the Minnesota proposal. “We use a similar process that U-M uses. It would be a disservice to our students if they are not able to use their ID cards as valid for voting.”