By: BRANDON GROVES
Voting is a right for all citizens in the United States of America. But in Indiana, all citizens that want to vote are strictly required to show a valid photo identification card before casting a ballot.
Students of IU South Bend had not been able to use their student IDs to vote. Instead, they had to show a different state-issued ID, such as a driver’s license.
But starting in the fall of 2017, IUSB students will be able to use updated student ID cards for voting identification. The new student ID, called the Crimson Card, will be used at all of the universities in the IU system.
The addition of an expiration date on all future student ID cards will now follow the Indiana requirements for voting identification requirements. Leading for this change at IUSB is Dr. Elizabeth Bennion, political science professor and founding director of the American Democracy Project. Bennion knew that students maybe would not be able to vote during their college years if student ID cards weren’t updated.
“One of the things that has concerned me for several years is the fact that our student ID as a state issued identification card should be or at least could be an official voter ID. Unfortunately, because we lacked that expiration date on our ID cards, it could not be used for that purpose.”
Although many IUSB students are Indiana residents, out-of-state students that were living on campus in the past would have to get a new Indiana state ID to vote in the state. With upgrade to future student ID cards, out-of-state student housing members will be able to register to vote under their Titan Drive address.
“We have had students who have come from out of state wanting to participate here and they register,” Bennion said. “But then, they didn’t get their ID changed in time. This is a small number of students who have this problem, but we don’t want any student to be disenfranchised.”
The ability to have a student ID legal to use at a voting booth will be a helpful comfort for IUSB students. Student Government Association senator Andi Trowbridge believes that the Crimson Card will help students want to go vote more.
“You don’t have to go and wait at the DMV to get a state ID,” Trowbridge said. “You can just use the ID that you already have on campus. Now, they can use that ID without having to get a separate form of ID in order to be able to go vote.”
Although the Crimson Card will not be available for the November elections, there is still time to register to vote. The deadline to register in Indiana is October 11.