GOP Sparks Fight Over College Kids' Voting Rights

NH, Wisconsin, North Carolina could make it trickier for students to vote
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 7, 2011 10:00 AM CST

(Newser) – Republican state legislators across the US are stirring up controversy with proposals to tighten voting laws in ways that would affect college kids. The Washington Post points to a particularly heated bill in New Hampshire that would bar out-of-state students from voting in their college towns. Opponents say the efforts, which also include requiring state-issued IDs at the polls, are simply veiled attempts to cut down on Democratic demographics—a criticism fueled by the New Hampshire House speaker’s comment that "foolish" college kids, lacking "life experience," vote "as a liberal."

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Wisconsin and North Carolina—both poised to be 2012 election battlegrounds—are among the states considering state-issued ID requirements. “I want to know when I walk into the poll that they know I am who I say I am,” said a GOP North Carolina state rep. But a North Carolina study shows that African-Americans, for example, who helped President Obama win in 2008, would be disproportionately affected by ID-related legislation. In Wisconsin, critics say thousands of students who lack a Wisconsin driver's license would unfairly affected; 17,000 out-of-state students attend the University of Wisconsin's campus in Madison (Read more voting rights stories.)

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