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Those new mobile Purdue student IDs, come Election Day
New mobile IDs, coming next school year, open a lot of doors … just not at the polling place. Purdue adjusts with a voter ID solution, as advocates push for more
Thanks today to for sponsorship help from the Purdue for Life Foundation. Purdue Day of Giving is this Wednesday, and your generosity could change the life of a Boilermaker who will go on to change our world. Learn more at dayofgiving.purdue.edu.
Support for Based in Lafayette also comes today from Purdue Convocations, presenting French-Canadian chamber orchestra Les Violons du Roy with pianist Inon Barnatan on the Steinway D. Led by conductor Jonathan Cohen, the evening’s performance marks a return to Purdue for the pianist and chamber orchestra and will feature works by Mozart, Mendelssohn, C.P.E. Bach and Shostakovich. Wednesday, April 26, at Loeb Playhouse. Buy tickets here.
Just a quick note as we all gather for the working week …
PURDUE’S MOVE TO MOBILE IDS … AND VOTING
Incoming students in Purdue’s fall 2023 semester will no longer get a physical student ID, instead getting a mobile ID to upload to their phones, smartwatches … whatever. Pretty cool, really.
(I don’t know about you, but my student ID got a full workout, stacked with meal plan, football ticket and rec center pass stickers and bound together with growing layers of Scotch tape after it snapped in half while riding solo in back pockets somewhere in my junior year. I could have used a mobile ID, technology lag notwithstanding. Good times.)
The idea, announced by the university last week, is that traditional student IDs will be phased out in the next few years, with students using their phones the way they would with credit cards or tickets to concerts or games to get access to most buildings, dining courts and more.
One thing the new IDs won’t do …
“At this time Purdue mobile credentials will not be accepted as a form of identification for voting,” Tim Doty, a Purdue spokesman, said. “Should a student need a hard copy of an ID to vote, one can be obtained for $3 at the Purdue ID card office. The card will contain no strip and no technology but will suffice for voting purposes.”
Lining up Purdue IDs – in particular, getting them listed with expiration dates to meet state code – so they were adequate for polling place check-in had taken a concerted effort from student groups and voters rights advocates through the years.
Ken Jones, chair of voter services with the League of Women Voters of Greater Lafayette, said Purdue seemed aware of that ahead of moving to a mobile ID.
Jones said Purdue officials had reached out to the League to discuss the issue, including the plan to make the voting-compatible ID available come election time. Jones said he’s heard some discussion about the possibility of setting up ID stations at certain student-heavy vote centers so those who need and qualify for a Purdue-issued ID that works can get one on the spot, as they’re ready to vote.
In 2019, Purdue started issuing updated IDs, including expiration dates, for students who wanted them for voting purposes. (Indiana’s voter ID law states that a student ID from a state school in Indiana may be used if it meets requirements for other forms of ID acceptable at the polls. That means it must include four things: a photo, a name, an expiration date that shows it is current and be issued by the state of Indiana or the U.S. government. In most cases, a driver’s license, passport, state-issued ID through the BMV or military identification are used.)
At that point, the League and other groups set up donation funds to cover the $5 Purdue charged students for an ID swap.
In that time, Jones said, the League gave out less than $200 in reimbursements.
“The money doesn’t seem to be a factor stopping students,” Jones said. He said that as long as the voting-eligible student IDs are convenient to get, that shouldn’t be a huge problem.
Jones said he and others encouraged the university to use its clout and its emerging mobile IDs to educate state lawmakers about a new technology coming and suggesting ways to make the new student ID format valid for voter identification.
“Purdue really is out front on this, and it’s great, I think,” Jones said. “You have to wonder how long it will be before we’re carrying our driver’s licenses on our phones. … Indiana law is not ready for this, is my thought.”
Thanks, again, to sponsors Purdue for Life Foundation, preparing for Purdue Day of Giving on Wednesday, April 26, and Purdue Convocations, presenting French-Canadian chamber orchestra Les Violons du Roy with pianist Inon Barnatan, on Wednesday, April 26, at Loeb Playhouse.
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