Idaho Bill Removing Student IDs to Vote Heads to Governor

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Thursday, March 9, the Idaho Senate passed House Bill 124, a bill that would remove student ID cards from the list of acceptable identification to vote. H.B. 124 passed the Senate 28 to 7 on a party line vote, with all Republicans voting in favor and all Democrats voting against. The bill already cleared the Idaho House, so it now heads to the desk of Gov. Brad Little (R) for his signature.

Currently, Idaho law requires photo identification at the polls before voting in-person. Acceptable identification includes 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 would remove student IDs from the acceptable list of identification, while continuing to accept concealed carry permits and more.

According to Tufts University’s civic research center, Idaho has seen a 66% increase in registration for voters aged 18 and 19 between November 2018 and September 2022. This indicates, by far, the highest registration rate for new, young voters in the country. “Make no mistake, Idaho elections have a proud history of being safe and fair. There is no evidence of voter fraud or student IDs being used in a way that is less safe,” Kaylee Peterson, president of Idaho Young Democrats, said at a press conference last Friday. “However, it is not the first example of the Idaho Legislature offering up solutions to nonproblems — and only by doing this have they whittled away at the constitutional rights of every young adult in this state.”

Idaho Democratic Party Chair and state Rep. Lauren Necochea (D) told Democracy Docket that in addition to targeting students’ access to the polls, Idaho Republicans have introduced other bills limiting vote by mail and curtaining the ballot initiative process. “Idaho’s Republican lawmakers, who already have a supermajority, are chipping away at our voting rights to further tip the scales in their favor and weaken our democracy,” Necochea continued. “Idahoans should be very alarmed by these ploys to corrupt our free and fair elections.”

Read H.B. 124 here.

Track the progress of H.B. 124 here.

Read more about bills that target young voters here.