While many Pennsylvania residents have their eyes on April's primary election to vote on Republican presidential candidates, Penn Sate University Park Undergraduate Association officials are looking toward November.
Following the passage of the Pennsylvania's Voter ID law last month, former Governmental Affairs Chair Adam Boyer met with Penn State's ID+ card department to discuss ways to make the Penn State ID cards usable in November's presidential election.
Under the law, Penn State ID cards can not be used as voter identification because they lack expiration dates. Students at other private and state-related Pennsylvania colleges like the University of Pennsylvania and Lehigh University can use their ID cards to vote because they contain expiration dates, former UPUA President TJ Bard said.
This is something that Boyer and Penn State ID+ Program Business Manager
Cynthia Kellerman hope to change.
Kellerman said no formal announcement has been made, but said she hopes to have a comprehensive program in place by this fall.
Under the proposed program, she said her department would issue incoming freshmen cards with an expiration date this May. Kellerman said her department would also issue new Penn State IDs to out-of-state students who wouldn't otherwise have a state-issued Pennsylvania identification.
Council of Commonwealth Student Governments Vice President Justin Cortes said that UPUA's program will take a lot of work to implement, but will be worthwhile for students.
"Anything that gets [students] more involved is greatly beneficial," Cortes (senior-advertising) said.
UPUA Chairman of the Assembly Spencer Malloy said the program would make students more aware of how their voting rights are changing in the state.
"Most students would be surprised that, over night, their ability to vote has been questioned," Malloy (junior-philosophy) said.
He said he supports a program to update identification cards to ensure students aren't turned away at the polls.
"I think it's something that definitely has to get done," he said. "It's the utmost priority to make sure that every Penn State student has the lowest barrier possible to vote."