University of Iowa student IDs not valid for polls

Daily Iowan,  August 27, 2019

"State Board of Regent universities are taking divergent paths on making student ID cards a valid form of voter identification.

Iowa State University announced recently that its students will be able to use their student IDs as voter identification at the polls during the next election, an action that University of Iowa administrators are still discussing after a state-law change affecting requirements for identification voters can bring to the polls to prove their eligibility to vote.


In 2017, the Iowa Legislature passed an Election Modernization and Integrity Act, which added a requirement for voters to bring IDs to the polls. 

The Iowa Secretary of State’s Office sent letters to universities and colleges across the state in 2018, making two requests of the institutions: to provide students with a form of ID that could be verified and a printable document for students to prove their address

Last year, the UI Office of the Registrar created a voter-enrollment verification letter, and UI Housing and Dining added contract dates to room-assignment letters as proof of residency in an effort to make voting accessible to students, Bruce said. 

Because the student IDs do not have an expiration date on them, they cannot be accepted as valid identification at the polls under the new law. State university officials have previously stated the addition of an expiration date to the cards would be too expensive. 

With approximately 44,000 IowaOne cards in circulation, UI officials said previously to the DI  that the additional costs of reprinting IDs would be hundreds of thousands of dollars extra each year." 


By Kelsey Harrell

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Hannah Piercey