UNC recently submitted a request for its students to be able to use their University-issued One Cards as their photo ID to vote as part of a North Carolina State Board of Elections initiative.
If approved, UNC students' One Cards could be used as a valid voter ID starting during the 2023 municipal elections and would be valid through both the primary and general presidential elections in 2024.
Currently, voters in North Carolina are asked to show an ID, most commonly their driver’s license, when they arrive at the polls. The voter ID requirement was reinstated by the N.C. Supreme Court in April.
Theodore White, the president of UNC Young Democrats, said that voter ID requirements make voting more difficult to navigate.
“A lot of these restrictions will directly impact students,” Thomas Crowe-Allbritton, a policy intern for Democracy North Carolina, said. “Voter ID is a big one that will especially impact students, and make it more difficult, and more likely we'll see a drop off of the number of students that actually go out to vote.”
During the 2020 election cycle, the state board of elections released a list of all of the colleges and universities that applied for their institution’s ID as voter ID and if they were approved, Crowe-Allbrittion said.
“The main issue that universities have ran into is the fact that a lot of university IDs don't have expiration dates,” he said.
Sloan Duvall, the secretary for UNC Young Democrats, said that for the current approval process, each chancellor of North Carolina universities had to reapply for student IDs to be approved and all student IDs must have a photo and expiration date.
UNC Pembroke and N.C. A&T have had issues with this in the past, Crowe-Allbritton said. He also said that his main worry was that out-of-state students at schools whose IDs are not approved will face roadblocks to voting.