Democracy Prevails: Expiration Dates Added to IDs

Students planning on voting in the upcoming November elections will now be able to use their Penn State IDs to fulfil the new Pennsylvania Voter ID law.  The law mandates that every voter must have a state issued ID to vote in an election. After the UPUA voted to oppose the bill last fall, provisions for students registered to vote in the state of Pennsylvania were passed. However, the law states that College IDs must have an expiration date in order to be counted as a valid ID on election day.

After discussions between Penn State and the UPUA Governmental Affairs committee — not to mention pressure from Onward State’s Kevin Horne — Penn State finally agreed to start including expiration dates on ID cards. This initiative will begin at FTCAP this summer, ensuring that all freshman are ready to vote. Other students who do not have any other valid form of Pennsylvania identification can get an expiration date sticker put on their existing ID for free.

As a current member of the Governmental Affairs committee, I vehemently praise the college for being so willing to work with students to ensure that our voices are heard in the upcoming elections. However, we should still consider the unfairness of the law for groups unable to just get a sticker on their ID.

The ACLU is preparing to sue the Voter ID Law citing that “The law will disproportionately affect older citizens, people with disabilities, racial minorities, and lower-income people.”  Interestingly enough, Governor Corbett didn’t prosecute any cases of voter fraud during his years as Attorny General. Apparently disenfranchising senior citizens and minority groups is worth it just to make sure that the nonexistent prosecutions of voter fraud don’t occur.

While Penn State should be commended for its quick response to the bill, ensuring that all Penn State students will be able to vote on Election Day, we as voting citizens of Pennsylvania should continue to be outraged about the unfairness of the bill. Just because we students are out of the crosshairs doesn’t mean we should ignore the disenfranchisement of thousands of our fellow Pennsylvanians. Either way, this is a great victory for the students of this University.

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