Election officials, advocates push to use college IDs for voting

The address is missing from most student identification cards.

By Ben Giles | Arizona Capitol Times

As Katie Hobbs prepared to take over as Arizona’s newly elected secretary of state, one question was repeatedly asked: Can a student ID be used to vote?

The short, easy answer was “no.”

But the longer, more complicated answer is “yes, but if.”

A footnote in the draft of a new Elections Procedures Manual, a handbook for running elections in Arizona, now states that IDs issued by a public college, university or other public educational institutions are technically “government-issued” IDs.

Public schools have always been government institutions, so it makes sense that the IDs the schools issue fit the description in the manual as “government-issued,” according to Hobbs’ election director, Bo Dul.

That clarity is important, Dul said, because a valid, government-issued ID is one of the few forms of identification that can be used as a voter’s sole ID when voting.

But that doesn’t mean student IDs alone can be used to verify a voter’s identity. Those identifications would still need to meet other requirements in Arizona law – namely the inclusion of three elements: the student’s name, photo, and residential address.

It’s the address that’s missing from most student identification cards.


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September 2019