Election bill to prohibit use of student ID at polls introduced
By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports
The House State Affairs Committee introduced a bill Friday to prohibit the use of student ID cards at the polls as a form of voter identification.
The initial bill from Rep. Tina Lambert, R-Caldwell, excluded the use of signed affidavits, but she asked the previous bill be held in committee and introduced an alternative that only excludes student IDs.
Secretary of State Phil McGrane testified in support of the bill, saying that of the nearly 600,000 Idahoans who voted in the November 2022 election, only 104 voters used a student ID.
The committee introduced Lambert’s bill and sent it to the second reading calendar with two no votes, both coming from Democrats.
Several people testified in opposition to the bill, most noting that identification cards can be expensive while student IDs are free.
McGrane noted that a bill introduced earlier in the meeting by Rep. Brandon Mitchell, R-Moscow, would allow the Idaho Transportation Department to issue a free ID card for voting if a person cannot afford an ID.
Mitchell’s bill anticipates that fewer than 2,000 no-fee ID cards would be needed each year, creating minimal impact to ITD’s dedicated and local funds. That bill must still get a public hearing before it can move forward.