Student government passed two resolutions last night that support several Texas Legislature bills which, if passed, will allow students to use their university identification as an acceptable form of voting ID. Online voter registration could also become available.
If Senate Bill 230 and House Bill 295 pass, students could potentially use their Bearkat OneCard as a form of ID to vote.
“If you want to access your dorm or your meal plan, you need to have your student ID with you, why not allow that to also be your identification for other activities?” Student Body President Spencer Copeland said. “As long as it meets the requirements of the state, why not?”
According to Senator Daniel Hough, if approved, Bearkat OneCards would include information similar to that of a driver’s license.
Copeland says he supports the idea of online voter registration because he believes it would improve voter turnout.
“It’s a lot easier to fill something out online than it would be to write it down, find an envelope and put it in a mailbox,” Copeland said. “If you can submit it online, it’s so much easier and it would help increase the number of students, or even non students, [who] register to vote.”
The issue of Internet security could potentially come into question when submitting voter registration information online, however. Hough and other SGA senators received reassurance from professionals in Austin.
“Right now, the capital is working on a lot cyber security programs,” Hough said. “We talked to a couple [of] experts in the field and they said we have nothing to worry about currently and they’re just looking to expand [the safety].”