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Western Michigan college students eligible for discounts with IDs

by Admin 17. September 2012 14:58

College students in Western Michigan have some deals coming to them when they flash their student ID cards, according to a published report.

Entertainment, edibles, physical fitness and even academics can be enjoyed for a little bit cheaper thanks to companies that are cooperating, WZZM reports.

Students with their ID badges who visit the Gaming Warehouse in Grandville on Wednesdays will save 10 percent when they acquire a used video game or movie. The $10 general admission price at Celebration Cinema offers a discount of $1.50 every day. College students with IDs can enjoy more than 50 percent off the $8 admission at the Grand Rapids Public Museum. They can enter for $3.

Uccello's Restaurants, which are located in Grand Rapids, Grandville, Standale and Caledonia, offer 15 percent discounts on food prices. Q-doba offers college students with an ID a complimentary regular-priced drink that goes with the purchase of an entrée. That will save the bearer of the college ID $1.69.

Skiers can save when they enjoy their favorite winter pastime. The Canonsburg Ski Area is offering season passes for $199 rather than the normal price of $359, which saves college students $160.

If students feel like doing some studying, they can visit the Apple Store and capitalize on the "Education Pricing" specials, which vary depending on the location and the university. But many academic tools that a student can use are offered with discounts.

For example, students at Kuyper College in Grand Rapids can score themselves some discounts on various personal devices that the company offers.

iPads, iPhones and the various iPods – touch, nano, shuffle and classic – all come with discounts.

Two laptops –The MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro – are available for discounts for students who have identification badges.

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UMass contactless ID cards become the norm

by Admin 17. September 2012 10:59

In 2010, the University of Massachusetts upgraded student ID cards to include a technology known as "iClass," which made the devices contactless, allowing individuals to tap their IDs onto readers instead of manually swiping them and wearing down the magnetic strip, according to a report by independent newspaper, the Massachusetts Daily Collegian.

Today, nearly all student ID cards contain the technology, enabling more efficient access control in dormitories, academic facilities and other buildings that require individuals to authenticate their identity to gain entry. The school's campus card - called a UCard - was designed to act as the only card necessary on campus. As a result, administrators are also eliminating card swiping readers at cafeterias and retail services around the community, the newspaper reported.

"The [old] system was at the end of its life," said Jacqueline Watrous, the executive director of administrative services in UMass' administration and finance department, according to the Daily Collegian. "It was time to go out and see what else was out there."

The benefits of going contactless
Storie Libby, a senior English major at UMass and a supervisor at the UCard Office, said students would often complain about their traditional ID cards falling apart or the magnetic stip wearing away from overuse, the news source said. The new system will hopefully eliminate this problem.

"Switching over to a system where there is no contact involved will help keep the cards in better condition longer," Libby told the Daily Collegian.

Furthermore, the way in which students stored their ID cards also put a toll on the magnetic strip, Libby told the news source. Since many individuals would keep their IDs in their wallets, for example, the strip would deteriorate through constant contact with rough surfaces.

A separate report by Blackboard echoed the fact that contactless ID cards are often more convenient and secure than their traditional magnetic strip counterparts. Since contactless badges contain a data chip, they are able to store more information, enabling the devices to be used for a wider range of purposes, including everything from residence hall access control to making purchases at local convenience stores.

As the smart card market matures and evolves, these tools will likely be used more often in school systems around the country in an effort to enhance efficiency and convenience of day-to-day operations.

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Judge to decide students' challenge to Voter ID law in New Hampshire

by Admin 14. September 2012 10:51

A superior court judge in New Hampshire is now deciding on two students' petitions to block some parts of the state's amended law for voter registration, according to a published report.

Filed by the New Hampshire chapter of the League of Women voters, the lawsuit advocates for two University of New Hampshire students, Foster's Daily Democrat reports. Keene State College and Southern New Hampshire University students also are named in the suit, with which the American Civil Liberties Union is offering assistance.

The basis of the lawsuit is eligible out-of-state voters may be discouraged from casting ballots in New Hampshire. The New Hampshire Legislature, which was controlled by the Republican Party, passed the law in 2012 and it requires voters have approved photo identification paperwork.

"We believe the law is a deliberate attempt to keep college students who have a constitutional right to vote while they attend school in New Hampshire from exercising that right in the fall elections," election law specialist Joan Flood Ashwell with the League of Women Voters said in a prepared statement.

The petition is asking the court to either prevent the law's enforcement or to rule voters who intend to leave New Hampshire are not mandated to register their cars in the state.

Executive director Claire Ebel of the Civil Liberties Union of New Hampshire said the challenge stems from the belief that it violates the federal and state constitution's equal protection clauses.

"Every out-of-state student who attends school in New Hampshire has the constitutional right to register and to vote in New Hampshire," Ebel told the news source. "This law treats students differently, based solely on their decision to register and vote in New Hampshire."

Seacoast Online reports there was some confusion this past Tuesday when some potential voters did not show identification cards during an information session in preparation for Election Day in November.

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Pennsylvania Army facility welcomes people with military identification cards

by Admin 13. September 2012 09:58

An installation of the U.S. Army in South Central Pennsylvania has a special perk available for people who bear a military identification card, according to a published report.

Starting next Monday, military retirees and members of their families, members of the National Guard and Reserve, and civilians who serve the U.S. Department of Defense are eligible to use the Army Wellness Center. The facility is located within the Army post's primary entrance in the borough of Carlisle.

The effort seeks to encourage people to embark on physically fit lifestyles as a method of staving off disease. It also aims to slash expenses out of consideration for the government and corporations.

This is what many segments of the government have been practicing for several years, Colonel Stephanie Wilcher told the news source.

Wilcher, the director of the Dunham Army Health Clinic at Carlisle Barracks, said disease prevention is a key goal of the effort.

Rather than allowing use of the center only to active army soldiers and family members whose residences are on the post, the U.S. Army is striving to be more inclusive.

Midstate Pennsylvania is host to many people who have the military identification badge, not only those who are actively serving.

Spokeswoman Carol Kerr with the barracks and the U.S. Army War College said as many as 51,000 military retirees reside in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and that breaks down to many thousands in the south central region. They already rely on the military facility's commissary for food.

"It's definitely an investment in the Army War College and Carlisle Barracks," the spokeswoman said regarding the health center. "I think our future looks bright."

Another sign of the facility advocating for people's health is the annual flu shots it is presently offering, according to a press release.

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Louisiana proud of its abilities to accommodate voter ID laws

by Admin 12. September 2012 09:22

The voice of voters who go to the polls to cast ballots in Louisiana in early November without an acceptable identification may still be heard, according to a published report.

There are ways around that requirement as local issues and the presidential election hang in the balance, The Advertiser reports.

The mandate for voter identification helps ensure that the election's integrity is preserved, Republicans state. But, across the aisle, Democrats assert the laws stave off some involvement from low-income and minority voters.

"Louisiana falls in the middle, and for right now, it does seem like a good, moderate approach," political science Ph.D. Ryan Teten, who teaches about campaigns and elections at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, told the news source on Monday.

Voters may cast ballots even if they don't own a photo ID or if they have lost it, Secretary of State Tom Schedler with the state of Louisiana told the news source.

They will have to sign an affidavit in the company of an on-site election commissioner - then they may vote.

"Most people come in with a photo ID, and that's the end of it," Schedler told the news source late last week. "The magic wand that Louisiana has over these other states with voter ID laws is that we think we hit a middle-ground approach to it."

Registrar of voters Charlene Menard with Lafayette Parish said the Motor Vehicles Office is prepared to supply free photo identification cards to any resident of the state of Louisiana so that they may vote.

Schedler presently is traveling internationally as part of an effort to instruct members of the military as to how to vote, The Associated Press reports.

After having left this past Saturday, he has visited Kuwait and Qatar as part of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act.

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LA ponders official ID cards for illegal immigrants

by Admin 11. September 2012 11:39

City officials in Los Angeles are studying the idea of permitting library cards to be used to open accounts at banks and gain access to various city services for illegal immigrants, according to a published report.

Should the city move forward with the idea, it would join the ranks of U.S. cities that provide assorted identification forms to undocumented workers who are unable to acquire drivers' licenses because they are illegal immigrants, The Los Angeles Times reports. All members of the Los Angeles City Council recently voted up consideration of the proposal.

Los Angeles has roughly 300,000 residents who are not owners of bank accounts or debit cards, according to estimates.

The city's public libraries would issue the identification cards, which would have the user's name, address and a picture. A private vendor would join the partnership and arrange bank accounts for those who desire using the library identification card as a debit card as well. Financial institutions typically mandate a form of official identification in order to open a bank account.

Richard Alacorn, the councilman who proposed the idea, said any person who is able to provide proof demonstrating that they live in Los Angeles is eligible to acquire the library card.

The banking services to which card bearers would have access include direct deposit of their paychecks, money transfers within the nation and throughout the globe, and debiting, the councilman said.

The proposal also represents a chance to stave off unsavory acts toward individuals who do not have bank accounts.

Many immigrants who do not save money at the bank are ripped off by payday lenders, he said. Others are robbed if they hold their money on their person.

"They can be scammed and taken advantage of," Alarcon said. "This will help end that."

The identification cards would not take the place of driver's license nor would it stave off efforts by the federal government to deport the illegal immigrants. Applications for the cards could cost as much as $20 and they could access the money at ATMs.

Alacorn said that the card would enhance the bearer's financial know-how.

"We test students all the time on academic ability," he said. "But we don't determine if they are capable of handling their financial affairs. The foreclosure crisis demonstrated that there are a lot of people who are not."

The Board of Supervisors in San Francisco approved an ordinance in November 2007 to distribute the SF City ID Card, which was released in January 2009, according to the San Francisco city web site.

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Utah school's game raises ID card awareness

by Admin 10. September 2012 12:33

During the past year and a half, Monica Tripler of the Utah State University card office has been observing how students use their ID cards around campus. After the study, she concluded that many freshmen and transfer students didn't understand the full extent of the badges and what they could be used for, according to a report by the USU Statesman.

"This was an opportunity," Tripler said, according to the news source. "Until [students] are on campus and using their cards, they can't find value in it."

To raise awareness of the benefits associated with individuals using student ID cards, Tripler created a game on campus called Cardopoly. Similar to the famous board game Monopoly, students are encouraged to visit 16 businesses throughout the college community where their ID cards can be used and collect stamps to put on a specific game board, the USU Statesman noted. No purchases are necessary, as the activity is simply aimed at promoting ID card awareness and advantages.

Since the game has experienced such positive responses so far, Tripler said she plans to create a similar program next year that will involve visiting student service locations, such as academic counseling, around the college, the USU Statesman reported.

"Students are paying for these services through student fees. We want them to use them," Tripler told the USU Statesman.

As ID cards evolve, it will become increasingly important that students learn the full extent of the devices. In the coming years, many IDs will become contactless and potentially hold financial value, allowing individuals to make purchases with them, according to a report by Security Management.

By implementing programs that raise awareness of the cards, educational facilities may be able to ensure students get better use of the devices.

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Minnesota to grapple with Voter ID referendum in November

by Admin 10. September 2012 11:16

As many as 84,000 people in Minnesota could be affected by a proposed voter ID requirement, according to estimates by the North Star State's office of the secretary of state as cited in a published report.

But the office estimates that as many as 131,000 do not hold the right kind of identification card, which displays the bearer's present-day voting address, The Star Tribune reports. Those who do not have the identification card with the correct information on it amount to roughly 4 percent; those who do not have a state-issued ID total 2.7 percent.

The amendment under consideration mandates that all voters display an officially-issued photo ID prior to exercising their right to vote. Those who are considered most vulnerable to the November referendum are the elderly, the impoverished and students.

Administrator Robert Letich with old age home Camden Care Center in North Minneapolis said the proposed referendum must be seriously considered.

"It was a six-month process to get an ID. So if you want to vote, you better start planning," he told the news source, noting the impact will be harsh if some of his residents are prevented from casting ballots. "All these people would be disenfranchised from the election. And that generation takes it really seriously. They want to vote."

But one state, Mississippi – which wrote into its constitution the mandate of a photo ID, included an exemption for nursing homes, according to director Michele Kimball with AARP Minnesota.

She said what the elderly now faces is pretty close to a disaster.

"It's just a nightmare scenario," Kimball told the news source.

Also expected to be impacted by the new law is the poor, according to Colleen O'Connor Toberman with Our Savior's Housing. She estimated that three-quarters of the people who enter the Minneapolis program for shelter and housing are registered voters.

She emphasized the importance of voting for some of these people.

"They're often being overlooked," Toberman told the news source. "Voting is the only way they can be heard."

The proposed referendum's harm to students is unclear but it is likely to have some sort of impact since private-college ID cards are under scrutiny.

Another question is what to do about out-of state students in Minnesota, who are eligible to vote if they go home.

The Minnesota Daily, the University of Minnesota at St. Paul newspaper, cited a poll indicating nearly 71 percent of college students are not equipped with the correct state-issued identification card.

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Black clergy must motivate eligible voters to acquire proper ID, Sharpton says

by Admin 7. September 2012 15:15

Black members of the cloth should visit the states that have implemented voter ID laws and encourage voters who are black and Latino to acquire the needed identification so that they may cast ballots in November's General Election, The Reverend Al Sharpton told a luncheon during this past week's Democratic National Convention in North Carolina.

BET reports the top official of the National Action Network said ministers should visit those states within the next four weeks for what he said is a state of emergency.

Also a host with MSNBC, Sharpton underscored the gravity of this issue and said Voter ID laws pose a very serious threat.

"This is no joke," the civil rights activist said regarding the laws presently in force in numerous U.S. states as the presidential election is about 60 days out. "The disenfranchising of 5 million people in this country is nothing short of revoking the Voting Rights Act."

Laws requiring the use of identification cards have been challenged in the various states where they've popped up due to allegations that they discriminate against people who do not have them, can't afford them and do not know where to go to get them.

But supporters claim that the identification cards are one key way of staving off voter fraud.

Civil rights groups have stepped forward to advocate for those who are eligible to vote but cannot due to a lack of proper identification.

"We have to leave here and work and work," the reverend told the Charolotte luncheon. "We have to leave here and get people to register and get their voter IDs."

The Religion News Service reports many African-American clergy already have answered the call to rouse eligible voters. Members of the clergy have joined the effort of civil rights activists who have long challenged the voter ID laws.

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Eastern Pennsylvania school prepares for state Voter ID law

by Admin 7. September 2012 11:44

A college in Eastern Pennsylvania has adapted its identification cards so that its students may use them to vote, according to a published report.

The state is the 33rd to legislate a voter identification law that attempts to stave off voter fraud, The Lafayette reports. Those who take issue with the law claim it is slighted against minorities and low-income people who might not be in possession of a driver's license or a passport.

This past July, Lafayette College added expiration months and years to the ID cards, which Student Life Director Pamela Brewer said validates the school's identification card for voting purposes.

"Pennsylvania law [honors] university or college identification, as long as there is a concrete expiration date," government and law professor John Kincaid told the news source.

The law mandates voters bear the correct identification when casting ballots, which would include IDs issued by the federal or state government.

Lafayette is populated by many Pennsylvania residents who already have valid state identifications. Brewer said roughly one-fifth of the school's students are equipped with approved Pennsylvania identification cards.

But out-of-state students, even if they are registered to vote in Pennsylvania, will not be able to vote with out-of-state identification cards.

The college's older identification cards do not have expiration dates on them and students who attempt to use them will be unable to vote. But the newly formatted ones should be honored.

"Lafayette was way ahead of the curve on this, and, over the summer, several other local colleges contacted us for advice on this issue," Brewer told the news source.

Newly arrived freshmen were given the ID cards when they first came to campus and kicked off their college pursuits. They should be able to register to vote in the state.

But upperclassmen who continue using the older identification cards will not be able to use those to cast ballots. They may go to the ID office and acquire a new ID card in exchange for the older one.

The school intends to remind the student body of the changes by distributing a campus-wide email on September 17, which is Constitution Day. That email will contain information about registering.

Voters must register to vote in the state of Pennsylvania by October 6.

Located in Easton, Lafayette College was established more than 175 years ago, according to the school's website.

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