WEST LAFAYETTE – If anyone is going to cover the costs for Purdue students to get updated IDs, valid for use at Tippecanoe County polling places, it won’t be the university.

On Monday, after news this summer that Tippecanoe County election officials no longer believed the IDs most Purdue students carry met Indiana’s voter ID law, faculty and student leaders on the West Lafayette campus pressed the university to waive $10 fees for replacements that meet state regulations for any student who wants one.

“I think this is really simple,” Jo Boileau, Purdue student body president, said ahead of a 64-3 vote in favor of the measure. “If it’s the mission of the administration to improve civic engagement among students, we need to provide them with the avenues to do so.”

The response from the university, boiled down: It’s not that simple.

“We want to point out that while the administration will take the opinions of the University Senate under advisement,” Purdue spokesman Tim Doty said, “there are a number of considerations that the Senate may not have had a chance to fully absorb.”

Among the considerations, Doty listed the potential cost to the university. He also said the University Senate’s suggestion that the university waive the fee based on a desire to have a voter ID-ready card would leave Purdue staff to sort through whether students wanted replacement cards so they could vote or whether they were just trying to avoid the penalty for losing or damaging their card.
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