student voters

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New Hampshire: What Would Changing Registration Rules in New Hampshire Mean For Student Voters? | NHPR

Last fall, University of New Hampshire student Rachel Berg was one of the more than 3,000 people in Durham who registered to vote on Election Day. And she came prepared. “I had to bring a few forms of ID, I don’t remember exactly what,” Berg recalled while sitting in a corner of the UNH student center last week. “License, I think. School ID. And maybe my passport, just to be safe.” Berg, who’s from Grantham originally, also needed to be able to prove she lived in Durham. In her case, that meant bringing along a package her parents used to mail an orthopedic ankle brace to her on-campus apartment. Read More

Arizona: Legislator takes aim at University students in first week of session | The State Press

The Arizona State Legislature drew statewide backlash last week when Republican State Representative Bob Thorpe filed two bills aimed at changing the voting rights and cutting social justice classes for college students in Arizona. House Bill 2260 would in effect disallow any student living in a “dormitory address or other temporary college or university address,” to use that address to register to vote. Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes, who oversees voter registration in Maricopa County, said that the bill is both unconstitutional and unenforceable. “It violates the First Amendment, it violates the due process clause and it violates the equal protections clause,” Fontes said. “I would think a constitutional conservative like Thorpe would have looked at these things.” Fontes, who made student polling locations and voting rights priorities in his campaign, said that he would stay committed to those goals and staunchly opposed the bill. “This is disenfranchisement on its face,” he said. “It treats one particular class of eligible voter different then another eligible class of voters.” Read More

Arizona: Lawmaker would keep some students from voting | Arizona Daily Star

When Rep. Bob Thorpe ran for re-election in November, the areas in and around the Northern Arizona University campus were among the areas that provided his lowest vote tallies. Thorpe won anyway, with strong showings in the largely Republican Gila and Navajo county portion of his legislative district. Now the Flagstaff lawmaker wants to keep students from voting at all unless they happen to already have been living there with their families before they started school. Read More

South Carolina: Judge hears arguments in Furman student voter registration lawsuit | WSPA

Students from Furman University will soon learn whether or not they can register to vote in Greenville County. Thursday, a judge heard arguments on a lawsuit claiming they were blocked from registering using their university address. “I hope that we will get a verdict quickly so we will be able to register as many people as possible in the next 36 hours,” said plaintiff, Katherine West. The clock ticks down on voter registration deadline, but for the Furman sophomore, she tried mailing in her Greenville County application more than a month ago. She says she was sent a questionnaire instead of her registration card. The list of questions is sent to inquiring college students is part of a long standing Greenville County election commission policy to determine if the student is a serious resident of the area. Now, it is at the center of a lawsuit filed against the state and the county election commissions. Read More

National: Despite changes in voter ID laws, students still see pain points in processes | USA Today

In the build-up to the presidential election this November, federal appeals courts struck down voter ID laws in several states — including Wisconsin, Texas and North Carolina — on the grounds that they were in direct violation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and especially targeted minority and traditionally Democratic voters, preventing some from voting or even going to the polls. North Carolina’s former voter ID law, which went into effect in 2013, mandated that voters present state-issued photo identification at the polls, shortened the period to cast early ballots by a week and eliminated pre-registration and same-day registration for students who turned 18 on Election Day. Three years later, that’s no longer true.  College students who believed that the former law disenfranchised young people welcomed the change. “My first thought after hearing the news was ‘thank God,’ but that relief came too soon,” says Jackson Dellinger, a North Carolina native and sophomore at Duke University. Read More

Wisconsin: Registering to vote holds challenges for college students | Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

Long lines at polling places on several college campuses during last week’s primary election had at least one thing in common: students who waited until the last minute to register to vote. Due to new voting laws in Wisconsin, college students who are already juggling classes, homework and jobs have their work cut out for them before they can fill in an election ballot. If they don’t figure out what documents they need until election day, they may show up at the polls to register without the proper photo ID or proof of current address. That can create bottlenecks in voting wards with high student turnout. Student leaders on campuses in Wisconsin and elsewhere are figuring out creative ways to build excitement around registering to vote. That could be the key to managing a heavy voter turnout on election day in November, when a new crop of freshmen and out-of-state students will be eligible to cast ballots, along with upperclassmen who tend to move often and will have to fill out change-of-address forms. Read More

Wisconsin: Judge’s ruling a mixed bag for those challenging voter ID law | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

A federal judge has thrown out portions of a challenge to Wisconsin’s voting laws but is allowing a key part of the lawsuit to proceed that could allow more types of identification to be used under the voter ID law. In his ruling last month, U.S. District Judge James Peterson in Madison also found the liberal One Wisconsin Institute could pursue its argument that recent restrictions on early voting violate the U.S. Constitution. The group brought its lawsuit in May, contending the voter ID law, limits on early voting and other policies were designed to make it harder for minorities, the poor and those backing Democrats to vote. Read More

Tennessee: Judge dismisses students’ voting rights case | The Tennessean

A federal judge in Nashville has upheld Tennessee’s voter ID law prohibiting the use of student identification cards at the polls. U.S. District Judge Aleta Trauger on Monday granted the state’s request to dismiss the case and upheld the law as constitutional. The students who brought the case in March wanted to use their school identification cards to vote and said the state denying them the ability to do that was age discrimination. Her ruling comes after four years of debate over Tennessee’s law but does not necessarily end discussion because the ruling could be appealed. Read More

North Carolina: Ex-College Democrats president: Election law intimidated college students | Winston-Salem Journal

The former president of the state chapter of the College Democrats testified today that North Carolina’s new election law made it much more difficult for college students to vote. Louis Duke, a graduate of Campbell University in Harnett County, took the witness stand in a closely watched trial in U.S. District Court in Winston-Salem. Several groups, including the N.C. NAACP and the U.S. Department of Justice, are suing the state and Gov. Pat McCrory over House Bill 589, which became law in August 2013. The law eliminated same-day voter registration, reduced the days of early voting from 17 to 10 and prohibited out-of-precinct provisional voting, among other things. Duke said that after the law, known as the Voter Information Verification Act, was passed, many students across North Carolina were confused and misinformed about what the law required. Duke said he helped organize voter registration drives for college students. The elimination of same-day voter registration made such efforts more difficult because there was a shorter amount of time to get students registered, Duke said. In North Carolina, the deadline to register to vote is 25 days before the election. Read More

North Dakota: House defeats student ID bill intended to make voting easier | Grand Forks Herald

The North Dakota House defeated a bill Wednesday that would have required the state’s colleges and universities to provide student identification cards that could be used to vote. Senate Bill 2330, sponsored by Sen. Ray Holmberg, R-Grand Forks, would have required photo identification cards provided by the universities to include the student’s residential address and birth date. The bill failed 28-63 after sailing through the Senate 46-0 last month. The presidents of North Dakota State University and Dickinson State University opposed the bill in a committee hearing in early March, arguing that it would put students at risk because the IDs are used as keycards for residence halls and students tend to lose them. Read More