ID Needed to Take a Test, But Not to Vote

Young first time voter dropping her ballot in the box at the polling place.

Young first time voter dropping her ballot in the box at the polling place.

While students don’t always need an ID to vote in an election, they essentially must now have one to go to college.

For the liberal establishment, this should pose a moral challenge.

In the wake of the bust of an admissions exam cheating ring in New York, officials at the companies that administer college entrance exams just announced very strict new rules to verify that high school students who are taking the SAT and ACT are who they claim to be.

At issue is that students were caught taking the test for others.  The goal of strict ID enforcement is to make sure that everyone taking the test in the future is the actual person registered to take it.

At the same time, in many states, those same students — when they turn 18 years old — can cast a ballot for the leader of the free world and possibly change the course of all human history without having to verify their identity.  In states where voter ID requirements exist, liberals are trying to get rid of them. NAACP president Ben Jealous and Democratic National Committee Chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz go so far as to call a photo ID requirement at a polling place the modern-day equivalent of segregation-era Jim Crow laws.

It’s unclear what these critics are going to say about the new testing rule, but it’s not something they can ignore and remain intellectually honest.  After all, the ACT and SAT are ubiquitous in the college admissions process.  So no ID essentially means no access to higher education.

According to the web site of The College Board, the company that administers the SAT, “acceptable identification” is a valid driver’s license, state-issued ID, school ID, passport or specialized school-issued identification.  It’s much more stringent than the average voter ID requirement, which can include utility bills, hunting licenses and workplace ID and often allows for provisional ballots to be cast if no ID is provided.

Additionally, according to the Associated Press report, students taking admissions exams are now going to have to submit photos by mail or Internet prior to test day.  The photo will be scanned onto a student’s admission ticket for verification.  Students will also be required to show ID every time they enter the testing room, when they hand in their answer sheets and during potential “spot checks.”

According to Nassau County district attorney Kathleen Rice, who worked on the bust of the cheating ring, “These reforms close a gaping hole in standardized test security that allowed students to cheat and steal admissions offers and scholarship money from kids who play by the rules.”

Yet Nassau County and New York State as a whole lacks a requirement to show ID when casting a ballot.  This means that any student — or anybody else — can essentially show up on Election Day and cast a ballot for someone else.

Critics of voter ID laws specifically cite students as one of the affected groups that would suffer from an ID requirement.  Yet students who want to go to college must now show ID at least four times just to take a test.

There’s a logical disconnect here.

There was clearly abuse of admissions test procedure in Nassau County that led to these tough new ID rules for testing.  Critics of voter ID, however, claim there are few instances of vote fraud to merit voter ID requirements.  Yet, twice this year, during primary elections in New Hampshire and Vermont, Project Veritas investigators were readily offered the ballots of recently-deceased individuals due in large part to a lack of an ID requirement.

Throwing a wrench into the process is the fact that Obama Attorney General Eric Holder is challenging some states’ new voter ID laws using the federal power of “preclearance” to raise concerns that the laws disproportionally affect minority groups.

A private company rose to the challenge to safeguard against identity theft and fraud.  It’s so far not raising the hackles of the liberal establishment.  They must know the validity of the action, despite the fact that — extending their logic — it creates a barrier to educational access.

Why can’t our governments stand up to hypocritical liberal special interests that are really putting our rights at risk?

P21CherylynLeBonProject 21 spokeswoman Cherylyn Harley LeBon, a former senior counsel with the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, said:

If college testing companies can figure out the need for proper ID to protect the integrity of their work, why can’t government?  The College Board quickly set up strong ID verification standards when the credibility of their product was challenged by people seeking to game the system.  Yet liberals are unwilling to call for the same protections to preserve the integrity of our votes.  And, with his ability to challenge state-level actions at the federal level, Attorney General Holder is actually stopping laws that will protect against this fraud.

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