March For Our Lives Sues Idaho Over New Voter Suppression Law

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Friday, March 17, March For Our Lives Idaho and a young resident filed a lawsuit 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. This lawsuit comes on the heels of Idaho Gov. Brad Little (R) signing H.B. 124 into law on Wednesday, March 15. 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. Notably, the passage of H.B. 124 comes as Republican state legislatures across the country are proposing and enacting new legislation that targets youth voters in response to record high levels of youth voter participation in recent elections. According to Tufts University, Idaho has seen a 66% increase in registration for voters aged 18 and 19 between November 2018 and September 2022, the highest registration rate, by far, for new, young voters in the country.

In their complaint, 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.” The plaintiffs ask the court to permanently block the enforcement of H.B. 124 and to require the defendant to reinstate student IDs as a valid form of acceptable voter identification in Idaho. 

Read the complaint here. 

Learn more about the case here.