College Students and State Voter ID Laws: Can I Vote in the State Where I Attend College? I Have a Student ID Card

By Carter, Dr Tracey B. | The University of Memphis Law Review, December 1, 2014 | Go to article overview

College Students and State Voter ID Laws: Can I Vote in the State Where I Attend College? I Have a Student ID Card


Carter, Dr Tracey B., The University of Memphis Law Review


I. INTRODUCTION....................333

II. CONSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK AND KEY U.S. SUPREME COURT DECISION REGARDING COLLEGE STUDENTS' VOTING RIGHTS....................335

III. STATUS OF STATE VOTER ID LAWS AND COLLEGE STUDENT IDS IN 2012....................337

A. Strict Photo ID States....................339

1. Georgia....................340

2. Indiana....................341

3. Kansas....................342

4. Mississippi....................342

5. Pennsylvania....................344

6. South Carolina....................346

7. Tennessee....................347

8. Texas....................348

9. Wisconsin....................350

B. Photo ID States....................354

1. Alabama....................354

2. Florida....................355

3. Hawaii....................356

4. Idaho....................357

5. Louisiana....................357

6. Michigan....................358

7. New Hampshire....................359

8. South Dakota....................360

C. Non-photo ID States....................361

1. Alaska....................361

2. Arizona....................362

3. Arkansas....................364

4. Colorado....................365

5. Connecticut....................366

6. Delaware....................367

7. Kentucky....................368

8. Missouri....................369

9. Montana....................370

10. North Dakota....................371

11. Ohio....................372

12. Oklahoma....................373

13. Rhode Island....................375

14. Utah....................377

15. Virginia....................379

16. Washington....................380

D. Summary of State Voter ID Laws and College Student IDs as of the November 2012 Presidential Election....................380

IV. PROS AND CONS OF STATE PHOTO VOTER ID LAWS, INCLUDING COLLEGE STUDENT IDS....................381

A. Major A rguments For and Against Photo ID Laws....................381

B. Major Arguments For and Against Allowing Students to Vote in College Towns....................384

C. Pros and Cons of Using College Student IDs for Voting....................386

V. INEQUITIES AND THE QUESTIONABLE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF CERTAIN STATE VOTER ID LAWS....................387

A. Major Barriers to Using College Student IDs....................387

B. Landmark U.S. Supreme Court Decision in 2013....................391

C. Major Voter ID Law Changes Immediately PoV-Shelby....................391

VI. CONCLUSION....................392

I. Introduction

When students leave home to attend college, some students want to vote in the state where they attend college. Therefore, college students must understand "the logistics of voting in elections," but "the process can ... be relatively simple if [they] know what to do."1 It is well known that "[c]ollege students are a critical-and very large-voting constituency who are often at the forefront of political activism."2 In fact, "[i]t's not an accident presidential debates are historically helTd on college campuses!"3 However, college students must be knowledgeable about state voter identification ("ID") laws. Voter ID laws require voters to show some form of identification to vote at the polls. Before and after the monumental United States Supreme Court decision in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board? many state legislatures considered voter ID laws in their respective states.5 Some states passed legislation that made it easy for college students to vote in the state where they attend college, whereas other state voter ID laws made it harder or impossible for college students to use their college IDs to vote.6

As of the November 6, 2012 Presidential Election, various state voter ID laws were inequitable as they applied to college students. Whereas some states allowed college student IDs as acceptable forms of identification for voting, other states did not. …

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