UPDATED: Senate Republicans debuted a new voter ID bill Thursday that removes a provision allowing college identification to cast ballots at the polls.
Senate Rules Chairman Tom Apodaca said he had concerns about accepting public and private college ID cards. But he said the college students would be eligible to get a free photo ID card from the state. The change will increase the cost of the bill but the price tag is unknown.
Other forms of identification accepted include driver’s licenses, non-operator cards, tribal and military IDs and passports.
The full law wouldn’t take effect until the 2016 elections, though some educational provisions will occur in 2014. The latest version debuted at the last-minute in the Senate Rules Committee. No vote was taken and the committee won't consider the bill until next week. The House has not yet agreed to the measure and is expressing concerns.
Senate leader Phil Berger issued a statement touting the measure. “For years, an overwhelming majority of North Carolinians have voiced strong support for this common sense policy,” the Eden Republican said. “This bill restores clarity, transparency and confidence in the voting process. It curtails questions of voter fraud by folks on both sides of the aisle and helps ensure every candidate wins or loses on his or her own merits.”