The League of Women Voters of Idaho and BABE Vote filed a lawsuit in Idaho state court against HB 124 and HB 340, which ban the use of student ID as identification when voting and during same-day voter registration at polling places, respectively. The lawsuit asserts the new law violates the Idaho state constitution’s clauses guaranteeing equal protection of the laws and the fundamental right to vote.
The League of Women Voters of Idaho (LWV Idaho) and BABE VOTE filed a lawsuit against HB 124, which banned the use of student ID as identification when voting at polling places. Prior to the passage of this bill, Idaho voters were allowed to use passports, drivers’ licenses, tribal ID, student ID or a concealed weapons license to prove their identity when voting. HB 124 removed student IDs from the list of acceptable identification.
On March 16, 2023, LWV Idaho and BABE VOTE filed their complaint in the district court of the Fourth Judicial District in Ada County, Idaho, asserting HB 124 violated the Idaho constitution’s provisions guaranteeing equal protection under the law and the fundamental right to vote. The plaintiffs argued the ban on student ID was illegal age discrimination that violated the state constitution’s equal protection clause, as voters using student ID are often young Idahoans, who would be disproportionately burdened by the new law. The complaint also stated HB 124 violated the fundamental right to vote under state law, as there was no known instance of voter fraud based upon the use of student ID, meaning there was no valid purpose for imposing such a burden upon young voters. In testimony before the Idaho state legislature, the Secretary of State stated that he was unaware of any fraud related to the use of student ID.
The League is represented in this matter by Perkins Coie LLP.
Governor Brad Little signs HB 124 into law
Governor Brad Little signs HB 124 into law. The bill bans the use of student ID as identification when voting.
LWV Idaho files lawsuit
LWV Idaho and BABE VOTE file a lawsuit in Idaho state court, asserting HB 124 violates the Idaho constitution’s guarantees of equal protection under the law and the fundamental right to vote.
LWV Idaho files amended complaint
LWV Idaho and BABE Vote file an amended complaint, adding new claims against HB 340, which banned the use of student ID when registering to vote at polling places.
LWV Idaho and BABE VOTE move for a preliminary injunction
LWV Idaho and BABE VOTE file a preliminary injunction, arguing that HB124 and HB 340 disenfranchise new and young voters by unnecessarily limiting the ID allowed for voting and voter registration without any evidence of fraud. The motion also asserts that HB 340 obstructs BABE VOTE and LWV Idaho's voter registration activities by creating uncertainty on how citizens can prove their identity and residency.
Court grants motion to dismiss
The court grants defendant's motion to dismiss and denies plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction. The ruling states students are not a protected class and that because other forms of ID are freely available, HB 124 and 340 not violate the right to suffrage. The court also rules that HB 124 and 340 do not violate the state constitution's equal protection clause, as students are not a suspect class, meaning the court would defer to the legislature's method of ensuring uniformity of ID in voting and voter registration.
LWV Idaho and BABE Vote file appeal
LWV Idaho and BABE Vote file an appeal of the trial court's dismissal with the Idaho supreme court.
LWV Idaho files opening brief
LWV Idaho and BABE Vote file their opening brief in the Idaho supreme court, arguing the district court erred by using rational basis review instead of strict scrutiny to evaluate the restrictions on student ID. The brief also argues that even if strict scrutiny did not apply, the restrictions would fail the Anderson-Burdick balancing test proposed by the defendant. Finally, the brief asserted the trial court made multiple procedural errors in deciding the case.