University and Student Senate respond to voter ID amendment

One of the resolutions aims to help students if the amendment passes.

by Tyler Gieseke

The University of Minnesota University Senate and Student Senate issued responses last week to the proposed voter ID amendment.

The University Senate approved a statement against the amendment while the Student Senate passed a resolution urging the administration to lobby on behalf of students should the amendment pass on Nov. 6.

Each of the resolutions was passed through a majority vote, said Becky Hippert, an executive assistant to the University Senate.

“The ayes clearly had it,” she said.

Originating in the Equity, Access, and Diversity Committee of the University Senate, the approved statement said the proposed amendment is “neither in the best interest of the University of Minnesota nor its faculty, staff, or students.”

The statement said the amendment requires voters to present valid photographic identification that includes their current address. Many students who keep their permanent address on their IDs would not be able to vote on local issues unless they obtain a new ID each time they change residences, it said.

Currently, U-cards do not count as valid photographic ID as they do not contain addresses, it said.

The resolution passed by the Student Senate states that administrators should lobby for U-cards to count as a valid ID if the amendment should pass. The Senate believes “students should be able to vote with as few additional barriers as possible,” the resolution said.

The Student Senate discussed members’ position on the amendment, said CFANS Student Senator Tim Murphy, but it didn’t vote on a position statement.

“Most people that I talked to in the Senate are definitely opposing the amendment that’s on the ballot,” he said.