North Dakota college students are protesting a bill that would require issuing student ID cards with the student’s date of birth and address to create another acceptable form of identification for voting.
Senate Bill 2330 sailed through the Senate last month on a 46-0 vote.
The presidents of North Dakota State University and Dickinson State University both fought the bill, saying the residential address requirement would put students as risk because the ID cards are used as keycards for residence halls, and students tend to lose them, said the Dickinson Press.
An NDSU official testified that 836 cards have been replaced so far this academic year at a cost to students of $20 apiece, said the Dickinson Press.
According to the Dickinson Press, 989 North Dakota college students — about 3 percent — who tried to vote in the November election were unable to participate because of confusion over residence requirements. Roughly 1,800 of the 49,000 students at the state’s 11 public colleges and universities answered the survey conducted by NDSU’s Upper Midwest Regional Center on Public Policy, said the Dickinson Press.
States including South Dakota, Idaho, Montana, Colorado and Kansas already accept student IDs for voting, said Kelsey Klein of the North Dakota Student Government Association.
North Dakota is the only state without voter registration, and Silrum said unless the student ID were used in tandem with a state-issued ID that’s entered into the secretary of state’s central voter file, it would be “as useless to the election process as were voter affidavits.”
"Silrum said the office stands firmly behind House Bill 1333, which would do away with the student certificates used in the last election and allow for the use of bills and bank statements to help prove the person has been a resident of the voting precinct for at least 30 days before the election," said the Dickinson Press.