© 2024 Boise State Public Radio
NPR in Idaho
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Idaho GOP wants to outlaw student IDs at the polls

A sign outside a large building that reads "Vote here" and is decorated with stars.

Republican legislators are making good on their promise to outlaw the use of student IDs while voting.

The bill, introduced by freshman Rep. Tina Lambert (R-Caldwell), would also eliminate the ability for someone who forgot to bring their ID to the polls to sign an affidavit and receive a ballot.

Student IDs don't necessarily display an address, birth date or other information featured on other forms of government identification, which Republicans have repeatedly pointed to as an entry point to voter fraud.

State law currently allows someone to use a state-issued ID, passport, tribal ID, a student ID or concealed weapons license to prove their identity in order to vote.

Lambert said her constituents are concerned that students from Oregon and Washington, which use vote-by-mail systems, would vote twice in an election – something that’s already a felony.

In voicing his support for the bill, Rep. Joe Palmer (R-Meridian) said voters should be committed to Idaho and get a state-issued ID.

“If somebody’s going to be a resident of Idaho, they’re going to immediately change their driver’s license over so they have residency,” Palmer said.

But the Idaho Transportation Department doesn’t require students to get a new driver’s license if they’re from out of state. Others have 90 days from when they move to Idaho to transfer their licenses.

Anyone is a resident of Idaho if they’ve been here for more than 30 days and consider it their primary domicile.

Eliminating the use of student IDs has been a goal of many Republicans in the state legislature for years.

Dorothy Moon, now the state GOP chair and a former state representative, tried to remove student IDs as a valid form of identification in a bill last year, along with same-day voter registration. That attempt failed.

Last summer, Moon ran a resolution during the Idaho Republican Convention calling on lawmakers to continue the cause.

The bill still needs a public hearing before it could be considered by the entire House.

Follow James Dawson on Twitter @RadioDawson for more local news.

Copyright 2023 Boise State Public Radio

I cover politics and a bit of everything else for Boise State Public Radio. Outside of public meetings, you can find me fly fishing, making cool things out of leather or watching the Seattle Mariners' latest rebuilding season.

You make stories like this possible.

The biggest portion of Boise State Public Radio's funding comes from readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

Your donation today helps make our local reporting free for our entire community.