Editorial: Student IDs should also serve as valid form of identification


Student IDs are not currently accepted by polling places as a valid voter ID as they don’t have an expiration date.

Editorial Board

Editor’s note: This editorial has been updated to reflect that students do not need an ID to vote this fall, but only if registering at the polls day of. The editorial has also been updated to better clarify the voter ID law and the different requirements in voting and registering. 

The state of Iowa’s controversial new voter identification law is stirring up confusion among students.

Like in years’ past, voters registering at the polls will still be required to show a valid ID and proof of residency day of in order to register and vote. 

in 2018, however, voters will also be asked to show their ID before voting. 

Anyone who does not have the necessary ID will be asked to “sign an oath verifying their identity,” according to the Iowa Secretary of State’s website

And beginning Jan. 1, 2019, Iowa voters will be required to show either a driver’s license, non-driver’s ID, passport, military ID, veterans ID, tribal ID or Voter ID Card.

Ideally for students, IDs issued by the university should also be a valid form of identification for students to use when voting as some students may not have the different forms of verification with them while at college.

Voting is a habit — if students stop voting due to the complexity of the process, it is unlikely that they will continue voting.

It is undeniable that modifying Iowa State IDs to become acceptable forms of identification would greatly facilitate students’ voting process. Secretary of State Paul Pate, the main proponent of the new ID law, said as much when he urged President Wendy Wintersteen to make the necessary changes.

The university, however, has cited the costs of placing expiration dates — one of the main changes — on Iowa State IDs.

There are also concerns that students could lose their student IDs, and in doing so, would lose a valid form of identification similar to a driver’s license or passport.

However, it is the duty of the administration to leave no stone unturned in their endeavors to assist students, and we need to take this next step to secure the future of our democracy here at Iowa State.