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New Voter ID Laws Deem College IDs Invalid

New voter ID laws may prevent college students from voting, depending on what state they are in and what information is provided on their student IDs.

Students IDs at voting booths in Tennessee will not be accepted and students will have to leave without voting on Election Day. In Pennsylvania, if the student ID states a name and has a photograph and expiration date, it may be deemed acceptable.

These new laws requiring a driver’s license, gun permit, military ID or passport to vote shuts out 3.2 million citizens from voting booths, reported the Brennan Center. 18 percent of seniors and young voters and 25 percent of African Americans do not own what is now considered a valid form of ID to vote. The purpose of the laws is to tighten up security, but the sole reason for turning away millions of citizens is based on the form of ID presented.

News 21 reported that photo ID is unnecessary, deeming the laws useless because only one in every 15 million prospective voters may attempt voter fraud.

While Democrats and civil rights groups are fighting against the newly imposed laws, Republicans are pleased.

USA Today College reported that House Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) said, “Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done,” from a list of accomplished legislation at the Republican State Committee in June.

The laws that may potentially win Pennsylvania for Romney are left out of the dialogue on most college campuses. Despite the surge to register to vote for the upcoming presidential election, many students are unaware of laws that may end up ruining their chances at voting booths.

“I’ve chosen to vote absentee to ensure my vote counts in Michigan,” Sam Robinson, a student in University of Pennsylvania’s criminology master’s program, told USA Today College.

Robinson is one student who has figured out a way around the new laws, but many are still unaware. The number of people that may be unable to vote is staggeringly high and “troublesome in light of the timing of the upcoming election,” said USA Today College.

Collegiettes, before you head out to vote this November, double-check your state’s specificities on The Cost of Freedom Project because they do vary across state lines. If your IDs do not meet your state’s requirements, you can find advice on how to get what is needed before Election Day comes around.

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Sora Hwang


Sora Hwang, originally from New Jersey, is a journalism major at Northeastern University. On campus, she is involved in the Student Government Association, Northeastern University Figure Skating Club, Haute Fashion (as an editor) and Her Campus Northeastern (as secretary). In any spare time she can manage, she edits pieces for Pink & Black Magazine as its Life Editor and for Mochi Magazine as its Associate Managing Editor. Over summer 2012, she studied documentary filmmaking in Rome and hopes to expand her knowledge in video editing and production. In addition, she loves playing with her puppies, curling up with hot chocolate, and annoying her friends with her indecisiveness.
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