The deadline has passed for North Carolina colleges and universities to decide whether to update their student IDs so students can use them to vote in next year’s elections. So which colleges decided not to make it easier for their students to vote, and whose fault is it?
All 17 UNC system schools applied to use their student IDs for voting, but only five qualified: Appalachian State, Elizabeth City State, NC Central, NC State, and UNC-Asheville, as well as Bennett College and Elon University. The 12 schools that were rejected have until November 15 to submit new IDs that meet the qualifications set out in the illegally-constituted voter ID amendment that the Republican-controlled General Assembly placed on the ballot last year.
However, several colleges and universities did not submit new ID designs before the October 26 deadline to do so — meaning students at those schools will be unable to use their IDs to vote in 2020. Those schools include High Point University and Guilford Technical Community College.
- This problem lies squarely at the feet of state lawmakers who wrote yet another restrictive and poorly-written voter suppression law, making it nearly impossible for universities to comply with its requirements.
- We should not be treating something as important as voting rights for students across the state with chaos and confusion. All students with government-issued IDs should be allowed to vote.
- This is yet another example of the Republican-controlled General Assembly passing burdensome new laws without providing local governments with the resources to implement them.
- The NCGOP’s approach to voter ID show that voter ID is not about protecting ballot security, it’s about making it harder for people — especially young people and people of color — to vote.
The right to vote is a critical principle of our democracy and we are stronger as a nation when every eligible voter can cast a vote, and have it count.