Election Law

Does voter ID law violate 26th Amendment by suppressing youth vote? 7 college students bring suit

Lawyers for seven college students are arguing in a North Carolina case that a voter ID law suppresses the youth vote and violates the 26th Amendment lowering the voting age to 18.

Past cases have argued voter ID laws discriminate against minorities and the poor, the New York Times reports. No prior case has alleged a 26th Amendment violation. If the new case is successful, the newspaper says, “it will open another front in what has become a highly partisan battle over voting rights.”

The North Carolina law at issue eliminated same-day registration, shortened the period for early voting, and eliminated a program that allowed teens to fill out registration forms that took effect on their 18th birthday. A photo ID will be required beginning in 2016, but student IDs won’t be accepted, and neither will out-of-state driver’s licenses, in most cases.

The suit has been combined with others challenging the North Carolina law.

Ohio State University law professor Edward Foley told the Times that it would be “a big deal” if the students win. He added, however, that “there is a big ‘if’ here.”

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