Updated: Monday, 30 Mar 2009, 7:03 PM EDT
Published : Monday, 30 Mar 2009, 6:09 PM EDT
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - A local state representative's response to voter ID legislation caused controversy among some Purdue students and area Democrats.
The legislation would allow ID cards issued by the Department of
Defense and Indiana Colleges and Universities to prove a voter's
identity at an election poll.
Republican Randy Truitt's no vote on the latest version of the bill has some local Democrats up in arms.
"For a State Representative, Randy Truitt's comments on the House floor were downright irresponsible," said Tom DeLuca, with Indiana Young Democrats.
"They do need to have the opportunity to exercise their right to vote and be a part of the process. However, they also need to take part with a proper form of identification, with an expiration date. So, I do support Purdue University students and would ask that you not support this bill," said Randy Truitt, (R) State Representative, District 26.
Truitt said he voted no on Senate Bill 254 because it does not require an expiration date on government and student ID's. Purdue Democrats President Eddie VanBogaert says student IDs play a small part in casting a vote.
"Our county Board of Election works hard to verify our addresses and eligibility through the registration process, not with the IDs we present at the polls," Eddie VanBogaert, Purdue Democrats President and a Sophomore.
But Truitt said the IDs would challenge the integrity of the
"I talked to a friend in Minnesota that still has his Purdue ID card, with no expiration date. So, can he come over from Minnesota and vote because it doesn't have an expiration date if he goes through the registration and so on?," said Truitt.
Tippecanoe County Clerk Linda Phillips said, right now, there is little room for fraud because the Election Board takes an extra step and verifies college I-D's through a school database.
"The databases are current, absolute up-to-date. It's updated every evening. So, if a student withdrew on a Thursday, they would not appear if we check their ID on Friday," said Phillips.
Truitt said he does not object to the ID verification now used
in Tippecanoe County.
He says he's concerned that other counties would not take that extra step.
The debate is not over. The bill is pending in a house-senate conference committee where legislators are trying to negotiate a compromise.
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