Penn State plans to change its current student identification cards to comply with the newly enacted Pennsylvania Voter ID law.
The law requires voters to show an acceptable photo ID with an expiration date to vote at the polls, starting with the November 2012 general election. The current Penn State student ID does not have a printed expiration date.
The Penn State ID office is working on issuing the new student ID. Incoming students for 2012 in the summer and fall semesters will have student ID cards issued to them that include a printed expiration date, Penn State Spokesperson Reidar Jensen said.
Current students who have not yet been issued a new ID card with an expiration date and possess no other forms of ID that are eligible to vote, will be issued a sticker with an expiration date.
Jensen said the details of how the stickers will be distributed are being worked out.
“As ID cards are replaced for new students over the next three years, the stickers will be phased out,” Jensen said.
Where the expiration date will be on the card and the specific designs are yet to be decided, he said.
“This is an option that is available for students who don’t have other forms of ID to vote,” Jensen said. “We encourage students to participate in the democratic process to vote.”
In Pennsylvania, citizens who are eligible to vote within the state have to present valid photo IDs that are issued by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or the Federal Government, such as a Pennsylvania’s driver’s license or a valid U.S. passport, according to the Pennsylvania Department of State.
Adam Boyer, Governmental Affairs Chairman of the University Park Undergraduate Association, said there are more than 10,000 Penn State students who are eligible to vote but won’t be able to vote because of the ID problem.
“If we don’t change, we are disenfranchising all of them,” Boyer (senior-history and political science) said. “It’s just a small change to exercise students’ democratic rights to vote.”