Duquesne IDs to be allowed at polls
Published: Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 23:09
Duquesne will reprint student ID cards with expiration dates for any students who do not have proper identification to vote in the November elections.
Pennsylvania’s controversial voter ID law, which was recently sent back to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, requires anyone wishing to vote to have a valid photo ID with an expiration date.
According to Denise Iuzzolino, assistant director of the DUCard Center, the University decided in the spring that students would be able to obtain free replacement ID’s. Iuzzolino said the decision coincided with the voter ID law being signed by Gov. Tom Corbett last March.
“That’s what triggered everything when the law was approved,” Iuzzolino said. “We wanted to have a policy in place.”
Iuzzolino added the DU Card’s web page has been updated with the new policy since spring.
For students to obtain a replacement ID with an expiration date, they must have their old ID to swap.
“If you have your current ID and you need an expiration date on your card for voter purposes … turn in your current ID [at the DUCard center] and we’ll give you the same card with an expiration date on it,” Iuzzolino said.
Iuzzolino said the University has not decided on whether or not expiration dates will become a permanent addition to the student ID and will wait to make a decision until the courts rule on the law.
Four students have requested reprinted IDs as of Sept. 18.
The voter ID law was recently sent back to lower courts by the State Supreme Court.
Law professor Bruce Ledewitz said, if allowed by the courts to go into effect, students should not be affected too much by the new voter ID law.
“For students, this is not necessarily much of a burden,” Ledewitz said. “It is very different for the elderly, people without driver’s licenses.”
Ledewitz said universities, including the University of Pittsburgh and Duquesne, have done a great job in having college IDs with expiration dates made available to students.
“Universities are cooperating to make [IDs with expiration dates] available to all students,” Ledewitz said.
For out-of-state students, Ledewitz said the issue is more of an absentee problem, in reference to absentee ballots, than having a proper college ID to vote.
“The litigation isn’t really being taken up for students,” Ledewitz said.
Ledewitz said he thinks the bill will not be put into effect because of the recent decision by the state Supreme Court.
He said the decision invites the lower court judge “to issue an injunction” which would effectively render the bill dead.
He also said for the bill to make it through this process, it would have to prove that everyone would be able to vote, essentially avoiding voter disenfranchisement, which Ledewitz said is not likely.
“You have to predict at this point that the judge will enjoin,” Ledewitz said. “You can’t be certain, but it does look that way.”
Stephen Bronder, president of Young Americans for Liberty, said students should not worry about the new voter ID law even if it is upheld.
“I feel like as long as we can vote with our student IDs, students should be fine with voting,” said Bronder, a junior economics major. “If Pennsylvania can be lax about it, in proving you exist, it’ll help with voter fraud while still allowing people to vote.”
Sophomore Madison Maxon, co-president of Young Democrats, interns at the Allegheny County Democratic Committee.
“They have been working hard to contact the 60,000 Democrats in Allegheny County that have been identified as at risk of having complications with voter ID on election day,” Maxon said.
According to Maxon, many of these at-risk voters coincide with the groups of people Ledewitz said would be affected most by the law.
“A lot of these people are older people that do not drive any longer and have expired licenses, women who remarried and didn't update their last names on their licenses and college students from other states that may not realize that they need a valid Pennsylvania ID to vote,” Maxon said.