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Pennsylvania universities to issue students IDs they can use during election

| Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012, 5:28 p.m.

The 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education will add expiration dates to student photo ID cards so they can be used to vote in the general election.

A state law takes effect this fall that requires voters to present photo identification at the polls. A stipulation in the law, which is being challenged in the courts, requires that cards must have an expiration date to be an eligible form of identification.

The schools, which enroll nearly 120,000 students and include Indiana, California and Slippery Rock universities, agreed voluntarily to add expiration dates, said Amanda Witmer, a spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Department of State.

In Pittsburgh, the private Duquesne University said it will provide an expiration date on ID cards for students who don't have other forms of voter identification.

The University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, state-related schools, issue photo ID cards that include an expiration date.

Robert Beecher, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania College Democrats, said the two schools are in a minority. He said most colleges in the state will have to modify their ID cards if students want to use them to vote, the most common change being the addition of an expiration date.

Debra Erdley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7996 or derdley@tribweb.com.

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