Young man filling out registration form

Young Voters Speak Out on Voter ID

The recent New York Times article, “Students Joining Battle to Upend Laws on Voter ID,” highlighted an unexpected segment of the population claiming discrimination due to voter identification laws. It was not the elderly. It was not a minority, either. No, not the poor. The latest group to band together and voice their concerns regarding voter ID requirements is college students.

The article asserts that certain state officials have spent the last decade attempting to tighten voting restrictions with their declared aim as a crack down on voting fraud. Voting rights activists argue that such fraud has not been proven.

College students have discovered that their student ID cards and out-of-state driver’s licenses or state ID cards are not accepted for registration or voting purposes. Absentee voting requirements add a level of bureaucratic red tape for students in the midst of midterm exams and term papers. Students experience these voting requirements as unnecessarily burdensome. The concern of voting rights groups is that they will result in students foregoing voting altogether.

Voter ID will receive more and more attention as the midterm general election draws closer. However, this is far from just an election year issue. In fact, voter ID has been a hot button issue for several years in Indiana, Texas, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina to name just a few states.

The college student plaintiffs (and three voter registration advocates) are making the constitutional argument that the law violates the 26th Amendment, which lowered the voting age to 18 from 21 in 1971. The amendment declares that the right to vote “shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of age.” We will be watching this case closely, as the outcome will affect young voters nationwide.

Be sure to follow US Vote for updates on this case, as well as other voter ID challenges. Lastly, whether you’re a U.S.-based voter, an overseas citizen voter, or a military voter, US Vote is your one-stop shop for voter registration and absentee ballot request. Visit us here and we’ll help you get started.