Pennsylvania Universities Change Their Student ID Cards To Satisfy Voter ID Law

Voter ID Law Gets State Universities Scrambling To Change Student IDs

A voter ID law in Pennsylvania may prevent thousands of college students from voting this November, which is why the state's public colleges are scrambling to change their student IDs.

All 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education will add expiration dates to their student IDs to make them acceptable forms of identification to satisfy a controversial new law in the state, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.

The AP reports PSSHE spokesman Kenn Marshall said returning who generally keep their freshman-year IDs throughout their college career can get stickers with expiration dates for their IDs. Replacing the cards for all 120,000 students would be a significant expenditure.

The law requiring state-approve ID at the polls to vote signed by Gov. Tom Corbett (R) in March and will be in effect for election day in November. Voter ID laws were passed around the country by Republicans in recent years. They have been criticized as attempts to disenfranchise potential voters -- like college students -- who likely would choose Democrats.

Upwards of 758,000 Pennsylvanians could be blocked from voting, according to a July report.

Duquesne University, a private school, will provide an expiration date on IDs cards for students who don’t have other forms of identification required to vote in the state under the new law, the Tribune-Review reported. The University of Pittsburgh and the University of Pennsylvania told the AP their IDs are already in compliance with the voter ID law. Bryn Mawr College and Temple University plan to update their IDs with expiration dates. Penn State University announced in April they would be changing their IDs.

Without these changes, if this was a student's only form of photo ID, they would not be able to vote in November.

Arguments were recently heard in a lawsuit against the law by the ACLU and NAACP on behalf of lead plaintiff Viviette Applewhite, a 93-year-old woman who claims she will be disenfranchised by the legislation. The Wall Street Journal reports Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson plans to issue a ruling the week of Aug. 13 on the constitutionality of the voter ID law in the state.

There has been no proof of in-person voter fraud in the state. The state's GOP House Majority Leader Mike Turzai recently claimed the voter ID law would "allow Gov. [Mitt] Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania."

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