Voter ID law

Jae Lee / WBAA News

Sometimes news changes fast. When we taped our conversation with Purdue University President Mitch Daniels this month, the school had just announced it’ll change its IDs to make it easier for students to vote in Tippecanoe County. As you’ll hear, Daniels says Purdue isn’t in the elections business, and advises that the state Bureau of Motor Vehicles – which he oversaw as governor – will give free IDs to those who ask.

That’s true, and it’s a fact the county election board seized upon a couple days after the interview was taped. But there’s a problem – getting that ID can mean students would have to give up their driver’s license from their home state.

courtesy Purdue University

Though Tippecanoe County Election Board members say they’re happy Purdue University is going to modify its identification cards, members Thursday indicated some current students might still be unable to vote unless they obtain a different ID.

Local election officials have, for more than a decade, allowed Purdue IDs to be considered valid forms of photo identification under the state’s voter ID law. But Election Board member Kent Moore says state leaders have adopted a new interpretation of statute.

courtesy Purdue University

The Tippecanoe County Election Board and Clerk Julie Roush have met stiff opposition upon beginning a conversation about whether Purdue University ID cards will continue to be considered valid voter IDs in future elections.

At an election board meeting Friday, the chair of the county Democratic Party, an official from the League of Women Voters, the Democratic co-chair of the county’s Election Division and a Purdue official all questioned why Roush was thinking about making a change.