What makes a student ID valid to vote?

LA CROSSE, Wis.–When you head to the polls in Wisconsin this spring, you’ll need an ID to vote. Now local colleges are making it easier for their students to get one. Under the new Voter ID law, students can use a valid ID from their college or university in order to cast a ballot, but school in the La Crosse area want students to know, not just any regular student ID will work.

To get a ballot, Wisconsinites will need to show a valid ID the next time they head to the polls and these students have a couple of ideas on which on to use.


“Driver’s license,” said one UW-L student.

“Driver’s license,” said another UW-L student.

“The new voter ID,” said UW-L junior Ethan Malofski.

Malofski’s talking about the new valid forms of college ID UW-L students can get free of charge. 

Under the new Voter I-D law, a valid college or university ID must have the student’s picture, their signature and an issue and expiration date.

It’s a move the university’s making to ensure all students can vote, even if students don’t live in the area.

“Really we’re looking for ID cards for those students who don’t have Wisconsin driver’s license,” said Larry Ringgenberg, UW-L director of university centers. “So it’s those students who are primarily out of state students who are wanting to vote in the state of Wisconsin or vote in the city of La Crosse.”

But UW-L isn’t the only school looking to help students vote. Viterbo University has also come up with their own valid form to help students get out of any sticky situations at the polls.

“We’ve created what we call stickers, which we have fixed to the student ID so any student that doesn’t possess a valid driver’s license can use that option,” said Pat Kerrigan, Viterbo University director of marketing and communication.

Come next week, Western Technical College will be issuing all new ID’s that will serve as the college’s student ID’s and will hopefully be in compliance with the new law. 

The college’s vice president of student services says that way, all students who want to vote can exercise their right.

“We want our students to have the same opportunities as all college students,” said Denise Vujnovich, Western Technical College vice president for student services. “The opportunity to get a photo ID if they didn’t already have one.”

Technical college ID’s still need approval from the state Legislature.

But for all college students ID’s aren’t enough. They must also bring some sort of proof of enrollment from their institution to the polls such as a tuition fee receipt. A verified class schedule will work at Viterbo and a UW-L voter verification form qualifies too.

It’s a precautionary step the La Crosse County Clerk’s office says makes sure everyone eligible to vote, can.         

“It’s because so many college kids come in and out of school, and I could be issuing you a college ID today, tomorrow you might not be enrolled,” said La Crosse County Clerk, Ginny Dankmeyer. “So this is something to show that your college ID is still valid and still enrolled in that school.”

Even though Wisconsin still has same-day registration, Dankmeyer recommends everyone make sure they are registered to vote in our area ahead of time to avoid long lines. That includes students using the valid forms of College or university ID’s.      

Wisconsin’s April 3 presidential primary will be the first election everyone will need to show a valid form of ID to vote.