Return to News Mar 17, 2023

Elias Law Group Files Lawsuit Against Idaho Secretary of State Over New Voter Suppression Law

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On March 17, Elias Law Group attorneys representing March For Our Lives Idaho and an Idaho student filed a lawsuit challenging a new voter suppression bill, House Bill 124. Signed into law earlier this week by Idaho Governor Brad Little, HB 124 eliminates student identification as an accepted form of voter identification at polling places. Student identification has been accepted at Idaho polling places since Idaho first adopted a voter identification requirement thirteen years ago. 

“In recent years, Idaho has enjoyed an unprecedented wave of youth political activism,” said Elias Law Group Partner Elisabeth Frost. “Inspiring young leaders from across the Gem State have made their voices heard on important issues like gun violence, climate change, and reproductive health. Rather than engage with this growing youth activism, Idaho’s existing political power has tried to suppress it. For over a decade, high school and college students have been able to use their student identification card to verify their identity at polling places, a practice that has not caused a single documented problem. We are so proud to work with March For Our Lives Idaho and Idaho students to challenge this discriminatory legislation and protect the voting rights of young Idahoans.” 

Student leaders from March For Our Lives Idaho (“MFOL Idaho”) are proud to partner in this effort to challenge this voter suppression bill targeted at students.  

“HB 124 hinders many young people from casting their vote and being a part of the fight to end gun violence in America. Gen Z has grown up in a world where senseless gun violence is the norm, so we want to make sure we are able to vote and make our voices heard on these important issues,” said Lucy Glynn, Incoming Director of MFOL Idaho (Bishop Kelly High School ’24).  

“We are so proud to be a part of this case, because protecting the youth vote is a critical component of moving toward a country free of gun violence.” said Amaia Clayton, Co-Director of MFOL Idaho (Renaissance High School ’23). Simon Richardson, Co-Director of MFOL Idaho (Boise High School ’23), noted that “this bill disproportionately impacts lower-income students. Students who cannot afford a car, and therefore have no need for a driver’s license. Students who do not have the time or the resources to go to the DMV and obtain a state ID. This bill silences their voices, but these students deserve to have an equal say, no matter their socioeconomic status.” 

Rosaura Albizo Barron (Boise High School ’23) said, “Many students such as myself rely on our student IDs for transportation, accessibility, and identification. This bill not only threatens our constitutional right to vote, but the only legitimacy we have. Speaking out on behalf of myself and students like me is an act of vulnerability, but I feel that it’s so important to advocate for my community and protect our voice and our basic human rights.” 

The complaint alleges that HB 124 “violates the Twenty-Sixth Amendment [to the U.S. Constitution] because it was motivated by a discriminatory purpose. It was adopted in response to an unprecedented wave of political activism by young Idahoans, alongside other measures like restrictions on legislative testimony by young people that represent a clear backlash to that activism. It surgically targets young Idahoans and makes it harder for them to vote, because they are by far more likely to have student identification, and to lack other accepted forms of voter identification, than older voters.” 

“Finally, it is inexplicable on other grounds, because the acceptance of student identification has not caused a single documented problem in the thirteen years since Idaho began requiring voter identification. Simply put, there was no real problem to be solved, and the ‘solution’ to the made-up problem was both under- and over-inclusive of the concerns raised, including concerns about double voting and security of student identification,” the complaint continues.  

Click HERE to read the complaint.