Voter ID amendment awareness

Over half of college students plan to vote yes on the ID amendment.

Daily Editorial Board

University students should make sure they understand what they’ll be voting for before hitting the polls this November. The voter ID amendment, which would require citizens to present a government-issued photo ID in order to vote, would make voting more difficult for out-of-state students who don’t have Minnesota identification.

Currently in Minnesota, 70.9 percent of college students don’t have a proper state-issued ID, and according to a new poll commissioned by the Minnesota Public Interest Research Group, 53.7 percent of those students are likely to vote yes on the voter ID amendment. “We have more than 50,000 students at the U of M Twin Cities campus alone which means more than 35,000 of them wouldn’t currently have the proper identification to vote,” University of Minnesota senior and MPIRG chair Emma Wright said. Only 36.8 percent of students polled said they would get a Minnesota ID before Election Day. 18.7 percent felt it would be too much of a hassle, and just wouldn’t vote at all.

The voting requirement would go into effect July 1, 2013 and could potentially eliminate same-day voter registration. Out-of-state students living on campus would need to obtain a Minnesota license in order to vote, even if they only plan to live here for a short time. Minnesota is jumping on the bandwagon of stricter voter ID laws that nine states, including Wisconsin, have already passed.

Students need to educate themselves before voting for or against the voter ID amendment. Young adults have an obligation as voters to make a responsible decision that affects not only themselves, but also the incoming students who plan to make an impact by voting in future elections.