State of Idaho

Idaho Student ID Removal Challenge (March For Our Lives)

March For Our Lives Idaho v. McGrane

Lawsuit filed by March For Our Lives Idaho and the Idaho Alliance for Retired Americans against Idaho Secretary of State Phil McGrane (R) challenging House Bill 124, a newly enacted voter suppression law that eliminates the use of a student ID as an acceptable form of identification for in-person voting. Before H.B. 124, acceptable identification included an Idaho driver’s license or identification card issued by the Idaho Transportation Department, passport or other U.S. government issued photo ID, tribal identification card with a photo, a license to carry concealed weapons or a current student identification card with a photo issued by a high school or an accredited higher education institution. H.B. 124 removes student IDs from the acceptable list of identification.

The plaintiffs allege that H.B. 124 was enacted with the intent to make it harder for young voters to participate in Idaho elections. Specifically, the plaintiffs assert that because young voters are “overwhelmingly more likely to be students” who lack access to other acceptable forms of identification for voting in Idaho, they disproportionately rely on student IDs to vote. Moreover, the plaintiffs note that H.B. 124’s “surgical attack on young Idaho’s young voters” — which solely eliminates student IDs but allows other forms of identification such as licenses to carry concealed weapons to remain in place — was enacted in the context of an “unprecedented wave of youth political activism in Idaho” and record high voter turnout amongst youth voters. In turn, the plaintiffs argue that H.B 124’s prohibition on the use of student IDs to vote “singles out high school and college students and threatens their political participation while limiting their access to the franchise” in violation of the 26th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits denying voting rights “on account of age.”

On April 17, the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint that added a challenge to another anti-voting law, House Bill 340, that imposes strict photo ID and proof of residency requirements to register to vote and limits the forms of acceptable identification for registration. Prior to the enactment of H.B. 340, voters only had to prove their residency and make an oath or affirmation of their identity. Under H.B. 340’s new regime, voters have to produce one of the following forms of identification to register to vote: a current Idaho driver’s license or ID card, a current passport or other ID issued by the federal government, a current tribal identification card or a current Idaho concealed carry permit. Similar to H.B. 124, H.B. 340 precludes student IDs from the acceptable forms of identification, thereby targeting youth voter registration efforts. In turn, the plaintiffs contend that H.B. 340 violates the 26th Amendment. Additionally, the plaintiffs argue that H.B. 340’s new voter registration requirements, which “require[] new registrants to show one of four forms of photo identification to register, each of which generally may be obtained only after payment of a government fee,” impose an “unconstitutional poll tax in violation of the Twenty-Fourth Amendment and the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.”

The plaintiffs ask the court to permanently block the enforcement of H.B. 124 and H.B. 340 and to require the defendant to reinstate student IDs as a valid form of acceptable voter identification to register to vote and vote in-person in Idaho.

STATUS: Several motions are in progress. A motion hearing is scheduled for May 8, 2024.

Case Documents

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