IDville Blog | August 2012

Alabama county voters to receive identification cards in the mail

by Admin 15. August 2012 11:21

Residents of a Southern Alabama county will soon receive identification cards sent to them in the mail in preparation for elections, according to a published report.

The cards will provide voters in Pike County with information about where they may cast ballots, the Troy Messenger reports.

"We realize there’s a lot of information contained on the card," Melissa Ingram with the Pike County Board of Registrars told the news source. "But it is all helpful."

The front of the card will include addresses for two polling locations. An address on the left will show where voters may go to cast ballots for elections for the state and the county. The middle of the card holds an address where people should cast ballots during elections in the municipality.

"These cards are a good way to make sure everyone knows where to go vote. There have been some changes with redistricting," Ingram told the news source.

Located above the name and address of the voter is an identification number. If the data about the voter on the identification card is correct, there is no need for the voter to respond.

The reverse of the card holds a dotted line that may be cut. The top portion of the card may be held by the voter for purposes of serving as a voter registration identification card.

The card should only be filled out and sent back to the office of the Board of Registrar at the Pike County Courthouse if there is an error with the data. State law indicates voter registration changes about elections for the municipality may not occur after Friday.

"We can't register anyone, or change information in the 10 days prior to an election. And if anyone has any questions, please call us," Ingram told the news source. "We can help."

She said that voters who opt to cast ballots where they are not assigned only are able to do that by provisional ballot. That means the votes they cast hinge on whether their eligibility is verified.

Either way, those votes will not be counted until roughly one week after the election.

She said the Board of Registrars is aiming to send out the cards by the end of this month.

Pike County will be holding municipal elections on Tuesday, August 28, according to Alabama secretary of state website. The general election is scheduled for Tuesday, November 6.

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Georgia students find dicey voter ID laws

by Admin 15. August 2012 11:05

Voting rights for college students have come under scrutiny as some jurisdictions allow them to use their college identification cards to cast ballots, according to a published report.

But other college identifications will not pass muster when it comes to exercising one's democratic rights, The New American Media reports.

Students at Morehouse College in Atlanta may use their identification cards for the purposes of purchasing food and school supplies while also gaining entry to laboratories for computer use and borrowing library books.

But they cannot use those identification cards to cast ballots.

By contrast, students at Georgia State University may use their ID essentially for the same purposes. However, those cards enable them to vote.

The Peach State saw the debate begin with the enactment of the voter ID law, which approves the use of state college-issued student identification cards for voting purposes. But private schools' identification cards do not suffice for people want to partake in the democratic process.

"They're another one of these suppression laws that affects disabled, older and younger voters on equal levels, but the older population is in the habit of voting," spokeswoman Sarah Stern with national advocacy group the League of Young Voters told the news source.

Since 2008, state representative Alisha Thomas Morgan, a Democrat, has presented three bills that aim to make the identification cards issued from all accredited colleges valid for voting purposes.

But the three bills she has introduced have all fallen short.

"There was a lot of frustration from students attending private schools," Morehouse College alumni Aubrey Patterson told the news source, noting she worked at the polls.

The voter registration deadline for the U.S. election scheduled for Tuesday, November 6 is October 9, according to the website of the office of Brian P. Kemp, Georgia's Secretary of State.

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Little enforcement for students, faculty use of buses in Texas college town

by Admin 14. August 2012 15:36

Students and faculty members of two Texas schools must show their identification cards to use the bus service while off campus, according to a published report.

But those associated with Texas A&M University and Blinn College said they rarely ever experience enforcement of that rule, according to The Bryan College Station Eagle. Ten off-campus routes of the AggieSpirit bus have notices indicating riders must show their identification cards but students, bus drivers and officials from Texas A&M Transportation Services said they almost never encounter enforcement.

Student bus riders who pay for it might be concerned about non-students who use the service without paying for it.

Transportation services executive director Peter Lange said a variety of concerns might come up if officials were to step in and enforce the policy.

"We don't check every stop, every time. That can slow entry to the buses," Lange told the news source. "It has crossed our minds as something to do, but we have already targeted those areas. We don't have time to check every student, every ride."

Texas A&M University owns 80 buses that travel eight routes that are on campus. Ten routes are off campus and the system draws its funding from a $70 student fee that is among tuition and fees.

The executive director said that the department has heard an assortment of complaints about not only students and faculty members using the service.

He said that is one reason the department posted yellow signs instructing who is eligible to ride the bus service.

"It's 100 percent student funded," the executive director told the news source. "We felt [posting the notices] was the right thing to do, based on the feedback."

The agency said some of the feedback about the service pointed to middle school and high school children misbehaving, which would make other riders feel uneasy.

Lange said the agency posted the warning signs near the middle school and the high school and, so as to be consistent, more signs eventually were posted. All stops now have the signs.

Texas A&M University has more than 50,000 students and is the U.S.' sixth-biggest university, according to the school's website. Its $5 billion endowment ranks it 10th overall for schools in the U.S.

Blinn College is a junior college and one of its four campuses is in Bryan, according to the school's website.

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Are you ready for the upcoming school year?

by Kayla 14. August 2012 10:15
Kayla
It’s been three weeks since we launched Visitor Express: School Edition and our Sales Reps are busy performing demos and setting up systems around the US. You don’t have to work in the education field to know how easy it is for an unwelcome visitor to enter the building without a visitor management system in place. It’s more important than ever to ensure that school staff and administration knows who is picking up children and that their property is free of sex offenders. It’s nearly impossible to do this without a secure visitor management system.  
 
Ensure the safety of your students!
Give us a call & learn about Visitor Express: School Edition  
 
Not only does Visitor Express: School Edition provide quick check-ins, a safe and secure facility, and ease of use, there are also some features that come in handy when monitoring your visitor traffic.
 
Instant Alerts: Instant alerts allow you to notify the proper authorities and school officials that a registered sex offender is trying to gain access to the school grounds. Send alerts to notify the approved personnel via text or email for quick and easy delivery. 
 
Tardy Passes: Put an end to students being late. Print tardy passes that students must wear to class as well as log student’s attendance for tracking purposes. Tardy passes print with the date and time to ensure that students return to class on time. 
 
Quick Reports: Want to access data quickly? With quick reports you can easily access information regarding visitors and volunteers on site and who has not logged out. Quick reports also have the ability to track student pickup information and student tardies. 
 
“Safe” School: Is your school safe? Visitor Express: School Edition allows you to market your school as a sex offender free school. Utilizing the National Watchdog database ensures you’re getting the most current information. 
 
Call one of our IDville identification specialists today at 1.866.438.4553 for a free 20 minute demo and receive more information on how easy it is to implement a visitor management system in your facility before the new school year begins!  
 
Don’t forget to enter our Facebook contest to enter for a chance to win a $50 Visa gift card. All you have to do is like our Fan Page. That’s it! Don’t miss your chance to be the lucky winner. 
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Kayla is a Marketing Specialist with over three years marketing experience. As a new addition to the IDville team, she is eager to share her social media savvy side and crazy affection for cats with IDville customers and co-workers.  

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School Security | Visitor Management | Education

Maryland county eyes ID cards for bus drivers

by Admin 13. August 2012 15:43

An official with a Maryland county's public schools said the system is considering implementing an identification system for bus drivers, which could be some sort of identification card, according to a published report.

Bus drivers in Carroll County at this time are not mandated to wear any identification cards or badges while performing their jobs, The Eldersburg Patch reports.

The system is contractor-based and at least 60 different bus contractors are in use, director Michael J. Hardesty with the Carroll County Public Schools Transportation Office told the news source.

Those drivers are employees of those particular contractors but the school system does train and certify them, according to Hardesty.

"The challenge for us is to create identification cards for the over 450 certified school bus drivers and bus assistants and then keep up with the many changes that occur throughout a normal school year, such as resignations, change of employment, new hires, etc.," Hardesty told the news source. "That being said, we do intend to work towards providing some type of I.D. for all drivers and assistants."

He said many systems that are publicly owned supply the drivers with an identification card of sorts.

Bus drivers and assistants in Howard County, located south of Carroll County, are given identification badges, according to director David Ramsay with the Howard County Public Schools Transportation Office.

"We issue yellow badges for each bus that states: Howard County Public School System School Bus Personnel," Ramsay told the news source, noting they are expected to bring their badges along when they enter school buildings so that staff is able to recognize that they are associated with the school system.

Carroll County will be busing students to elementary, middle and high schools, according to the county website, which announced the routes on Monday.

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California high schools enforce ID card policies

by Admin 13. August 2012 09:30

In an effort to enhance security and make checking identities more efficient, several high schools in Modesto, California, will require students to wear ID badges and lanyards while on school grounds, according to a report by the Modesto Bee.

The new ID policy at Davis and Johansen high schools is meant to create a safer environment for students, teachers and other staff members, as the visible ID cards will help administrators determine which students belong where, the news source said. Although the ID badges are not required, they are highly recommended if the student doesn't want their day to be disrupted.

Gregori High School officials have had an ID policy in place since 2010 and have seen significant results, the Modesto Bee noted.

"Anyone who walks onto the campus and does not have a lanyard gets campus supervisors' immediate attention," Gregori High School principal Jeff Albritton said, according to the news source.

Some students, however, are strictly against the use of student IDs and lanyards and see the ID cards as useless without a significant purpose.

"We don't really understand the purpose of the lanyards," Johansen High School senior Alicia Rorabaugh said, according to the Modesto Bee. "Some staff have hinted at the ability to distinguish between students and visitors on campus; however, visitors are supposed to sign in at the front office."

On the upside, Modesto associate superintendent Ginger Johnson said that students will be able to check out library books much more efficiently than before by simply swiping their ID card. Furthermore, the accessories are meant to strengthen a sense of community throughout the school system, the news source noted.

Other schools around the United States are also implementing ID card policies, especially for visitors. According to a report by local newspaper the Enterprise News, Brockton High School in Massachusetts recently installed a new access control system that requires all guests to register and acquire a temporary ID card.

"It's great because it gives everyone a name tag but it's not a guarantee against anything," Brockton High School principal Susan Szachowicz said, according to the Enterprise News.

By requiring visitors and students to wear ID cards, high school administrators can create a safer learning environment for anyone at the school, while simultaneously making lives easier and more convenient.

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Memphis amends lawsuit regarding constitutionality of ID cards for voting purposes

by Admin 10. August 2012 12:12

A Tennessee city filed a federal lawsuit stating that a state law mandating voters display state-issued photo identification cards prior to casting ballots does not adhere to the U.S. constitution, according to a published report.

The City of Memphis asked a federal judge in Nashville to approve the use of Memphis public library photo identification cards as a legitimate form of identification for voters, according to The Associated Press.

But late last month U.S. District Court Judge Aleta A. Trauger ruled that the library's card is not a valid ID for voting purposes.

The Commercial Appeal reports the city augmented the federal lawsuit earlier this week, claiming that the voter ID requirement is an unconstitutional infringement against the right to vote under the constitutions of both the federal and state governments.

The newly filed complaint was filed for two voters in Memphis who do not have state-issued ID cards. Their provisional ballots in the August 2 primary election were not validated and did not count.

Attorneys want the U.S. District Court to ask the Supreme Court of Tennessee if mandating qualified voters to display photo identification cards represents a violation of the state constitution.

The judge's ruling on July 31 stated that identification cards issued by state divisions and agencies are valid but those issued by cities or counties are not.

But the judge did note that frustration with the law stems from examples such as the fact that an expired license for hunting from another state can be used while a photo identification card from the library of Memphis is not valid.

As many as 390,000 registered voters in Tennessee are not in possession of a picture ID that would enable them to cast ballots. Among those people are roughly 105,000 residents aged 60 or older who are in possession of drivers licenses that do not hold pictures. Those licenses are permissible by Tennessee state law, the lawsuit claims.

The lawsuit is pursuing permission to vote for qualified voters who are without photo identification. The suit also requests that the photo ID law not be enforced by officials until all registered voters in the state are given state-issued identification cards that are legitimate.

The Commercial Appeal notes that the judge, who stated that the legislature of Tennessee did not aim for the photo identification cards issued by local governments to qualify, appeared to leave open the opportunity for attorneys to pursue direct constitutional challenges to the state law.

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South Carolina city moves toward distributing ID cards to homeless

by Admin 9. August 2012 11:24

Homeless people in an eastern South Carolina municipality might soon have city-issued identification cards, according to a published report.

The motive of Myrtle Beach officials is to provide assistance to the city residents who are in need of help during the challenging times, according to South Carolina Now.

Additional benefits include enhancing public safety and helping to save tax dollars.

"We don't want [to] do for homeless people what they can do for themselves," organizer Mary Jeffcoat with the Myrtle Beach Homeless Coalition told the news source.

Leaders in the Atlantic coast city probed methods of making city services more efficient for the people who needed them, which in turn would help make the homeless people become more self-sufficient.

"Right now we have several agencies that are working to house homeless people," Jeffcoat told the news source. "We are trying to figure out how they can combine and become one agency."

Myrtle Beach also wants to distribute identification cards to residents who are homeless and who benefit from the services that the city has to offer, in addition to merging agencies.

The identification cards will be part of a centralized database that allows the organizations to determine which people are using which services, she said.

She said staving off duplicated services and enhancing public safety measures in the city would be two byproducts of the identification cards.

"We have some people who are living on the streets and are convicted felons," Jeffcoat told the news source. "So we need to know who is here."

The homeless population in Myrtle Beach and Horry County is believed to be growing, according to Myrtle Beach Online.

Estimates this past May amounted to roughly 1,200 homeless people in the county and more than 40 service providers help them.

Those providers include churches, community groups, social services agencies and local governments, the publication reports.

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New Jersey set to register medical marijuana users for identification cards

by Admin 9. August 2012 11:19

Registration for identification cards for patients in New Jersey whose doctors advised prescribed medical marijuana begins today, according to a published report.

As officials with the Garden State prepare to open the state's first legal dispensary next month, the state health commissioner said the Thursday registration will set a precedent for relations between the agency and the people it serves, according to The Associated Press.

"It's the first time the department will be interacting directly with potential patients and their caregivers," Mary O'Dowd with the New Jersey Department of Health told the news service on Wednesday.

Despite federal laws prohibiting the selling and ingesting of marijuana, 17 U.S. states and the District of Columbia have legalized use of the herb for some patients.

Officials in New Jersey have been proceeding with caution regarding the allowance of use of medical marijuana as they pursue what they termed the "medical model."

Though the law was enacted in January 2010, no patients have acquired marijuana legally as of yet.

Those patients who qualify for medical marijuana include those suffering from the symptoms of maladies and sicknesses such as glaucoma, multiple sclerosis and terminal cancer.

Valid recommendations for use of cannabis come from physicians whom the patients have seen for at least 12 months and who have registered with New Jersey.

Thus far, roughly 150 doctors have signed on to legally recommend medical marijuana.

The procedure calls for doctors to enter patients' information into a state computer system, which will generate an identification number.

The patients then use that identification number to fulfill the process.

Costing $200, the registration card lasts 24 months. Patients who are seeking medical marijuana and are on programs for public assistance like Medicare and Medicaid will be charged $20 for the identification card.

Following completion of the paperwork, New Jersey has five days to send patient ID cards via the postal service. That card then may be used to purchase medical marijuana at state dispensaries.

The identification card also serves as a validation should a police officer find the patient in possession of marijuana.

The first dispensary is projected to be the Greenleaf Compassion Center, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. The Montclair-based facility said earlier this year that it was aiming to harvest a crop of marijuana in September.

Another dispensary is being planned to open in October in Egg Harbor, the publication states.

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Michigan voters cast ballots in primary

by Admin 8. August 2012 05:46

Voters in Michigan had the opportunity to cast ballots in a state primary on Tuesday, according to a published report.

Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson underscored the importance of voting and said the opportunity represents the perfect chance to speak up, The Sentinel Standard reports.

"Michigan works when Michigan votes," said Johnson, who also is the state's chief elections officer. "Because your vote is your voice, I encourage all eligible voters to go to the polls and cast their ballots."

Michigan mandates photo identification cards at the polls. The cards that work include a license or an identification card. But people who neglect to bring those cards or do not have one still are able to cast ballots.

Those without identification cards still may sign a short affidavit that indicates their identity. On Election Day, these ballots will find their way into the ones that are counted.

The state of Michigan has 7,334,233 residents who had registered to vote in time for this year's primary, which is slightly more than figures from the primary four years ago. In the 2008 primary election, there were 7,243,261 registered voters.

Voters in Michigan only can vote for one party during the primary, the news source reports.

Voters who are in need of assistance may pursue help from the Michigan Voter Information Center, which will help voters determine whether they are registered to vote. The service also may show a sample ballot and send voters to the appropriate polling location.

Voters who do not have a Michigan driver's license or identification card could display a driver's license or a personal identification card issued by another state, a federal or state government-issued photo identification, a U.S. passport, a military identification card that holds a photograph, a student identification card from a high school or another accredited institution of higher education or a tribal identification card with a photo.

Each voting station also was equipped with special apparatus to accommodate the votes of users with disabilities.

Voters were set to decide who would be the Republican candidate to challenge the incumbency of U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, a Democrat, according to The Times Herald. The election is slated for this November.

The candidates are Pete Hoekstra of Holland, Clark Durant of Grosse Pointe and Randy Hekman of Grand Rapids. Also included on the ballot is Gary Glenn, though he dropped out of the race last month.

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