Articles

Voting Requirements against Students

In Youth Rights on January 7, 2012 by edwinforyouthrights

Republican legislators have restricted voting rights in some states. This is a conspiracy against minorities, including young people. Supposedly, Republicans have passed bills to prevent voter fraud but the real reason is extremely political. As you know, these bills make it harder for people to vote because they require a photo ID to vote at the polling station. When it comes to young women and young men who are in university, these bills will unfortunately decrease voter turnout by this group. For students who have lived outside the state, their right of voting is significantly restricted. People are limited to having one driver’s license from a particular state or territory so for these students, they must surrender their current license to participate in democracy. For those students and for in-state students, a university or college student ID card is not considered accepted photo ID. Good democracy is not preserved with laws going far from the bounds of preventing voter fraud.

Many university students are more liberal or progressive, including me, than other people. This is the same of the other minorities oppressed by the voting laws in states like Texas and Tennessee. A 2011 Washington Post article exposed how far Republicans in New Hampshire wanted to go to stop university students from voting. In the article, a New Hampshire Republican legislator not only said that young people shouldn’t vote but he voted for a bill which would severely restrict voting by university students. That bill would have made voting by out-of-state students, impossible. Fortunately, the state’s governor vetoed that tyrannical bill. Regardless of political party affiliation or political party, voting laws should always be fair.

I doubt that requiring photo identification to vote noticeably stops voter fraud. When someone votes before, their name and address should be entered into the database to show that the person has already voted. With this method, everyone who is against voter fraud should be satisfied. In addition, voter fraud is rare. Same day voter registration has also been banned in some states and this is wrong because when registering to vote, mailing voter registration in the same state is necessary. Since the voting day is not too far from the start of the fall semester, students become more disadvantaged. Republicans have added these bills to justify preventing voter fraud while making it unreasonably hard for Democrat leaning people to vote so that they can fall back on the excuse of voter fraud. Rather than keeping these laws, they should be repealed because the previous requirements have worked in the past. We should not underestimate the value of old laws that still make sense and which are not oppressive. Young people are part of democracy!

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