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Universities, Local Governments Advocate For Students, Employees to Use Their IDs When Voting

Source: Inside Higher Ed.

Colleges, universities and local governments across the state are attempting to keep the voting box accessible for thousands, amid a ruling by the conservative-majority state Supreme Court which upheld a controversial voter suppression measure.

In April, the GOP-controlled state Supreme Court threw out a previous ruling that struck down a photo voter identification law as racially biased. The move to overturn the original ruling, handed state Republicans an advantage in the upcoming elections, while putting up a barrier for several North Carolinians.

However, ahead of the 2024 presidential election, schools and local governments are attempting to ease this hurdle for some, by asking the state Board of Elections to approve the use of student or employee IDs for voting.

According to N.C. Newsline, 22 private universities, including Duke, Wake Forest, St. Aug’s, Elon, and Shaw, and 15 of North Carolina’s 58 community colleges, have applied to have their student IDs approved for voting.

“The University is committed to supporting the ability of our students, faculty, and staff to exercise their constitutional right to vote. We submitted UNC OneCards for approval for the 2023 municipal elections,” Pace Sagester, UNC spokesperson, wrote in an email to Inside Higher Ed.

Several states in the last few months have passed measures requiring voters to show identification in order to vote, with at least five states proposing, or passing, laws that would prohibit students from using their college-issued IDs to vote.

According to Inside Higher Ed, these controversial measures are worrying voting rights advocates, who believe these bans on student IDs are designed to make it more difficult for young people to vote in upcoming elections.

“I think the direction that the youth are going with their vote scares the people who are currently in power a little bit because it works against them,” stated Saumya Sarin, a freshman at the College of Idaho, and a youth voter registration volunteer.

For now, the state Board of Elections plans to publish a list of approved student and employee identification on its website in mid-July, according to N.C. Newsline.

Read more at Inside Higher Ed.

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