College Students: What You Can Do on Your Campuses
If you are a student, your right to vote in the upcoming elections may be under attack. Across the county, misguided state legislatures are proposing and passing laws that would add a cumbersome obstacle to the voting process.
The obstacle is a strict government photo voter ID law. These laws not only demands that you have a government-approved identification card that accurately reflects your current address, but, in many cases, it indicates that your student identification card does not satisfy the requirement.
More than 30 states are considering this legislation with seven already adopting the requirement.
Why Don’t They Want You to Vote?
That question has two answers.
The first reason they don’t want you to vote is because your vote matters. In the 2008 elections, more than 22 million young Americans between the ages of 18-29 cast a ballot, making it the second largest youth voter movement in American history. According to nonpartisan research group CIRCLE, this reflects between an 8 and 13 percent increase over youth turnout in the 2000 election.
The second reason they don’t want you to vote is because they don’t trust you. In an address to a group last year, William O’Brien, the speaker of the New Hampshire State House and a staunch advocate for voter ID laws, implied that students should not be allowed to vote because they are “foolish,” lack “life experience,” and “just vote their feelings".
Don’t let politicians bully you out of your right to vote.
Register to vote now.
You have a right to have your voice heard to Election Day.
If you are already registered join the fight to help ensure your fellow students don’t have their right to vote taken away.
For more information on how changes to voting laws will affect students, please see:
- "Keeping College Students From the Polls", New York Times, December 27, 2011