GOP voter-suppression efforts aimed at college students
Republican-sponsored obstacles to voting aren’t just for minorities, as we see HERE:
In 2008, youth voter turnout was higher that it had been since Vietnam, and overwhelmingly for Barack Obama. This time around, the GOP isn’t counting solely on disillusionment to keep the student vote down.
In the last two years, Republican-controlled state legislatures have passed dozens of bills that erect new barriers to voting, all targeting Democratic-leaning groups, many specifically aimed at students. The GOP’s stated rationale is to fight voter fraud. But voter fraud — and especially in-person fraud which many of these measures address — is essentially nonexistent.
None of the new laws blocks student voting outright — although in New Hampshire, Republican lawmakers almost passed a bill that would have banned out-of-state students from casting a ballot. (The leader of the State House, Bill O’Brien, was caught on tape explaining how the move was necessary to stop students from “basically doing what I did when I was a kid: voting as a liberal.”)
Eric Marshall, manager of legal mobilization at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, said Republican voter suppression efforts have “heightened the level of confusion” for all voters, but students are most likely to get thrown off because they’re new to the system.
Proving residency or meeting strict criteria for photo ID can be difficult for college students, particularly out-of-state students, or those who don’t drive. Out-of-state students frequently don’t get in-state ID when they go to college — but still want to vote there. Changing addresses is one factor.