student voting

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Editorials: Changing Residency Standards Attack Student Voters | Robert M. Brandon/Huffington Post

A new effort on voter suppression has been seen in recent months: attacks on student voting by making it harder to determine residency for voting purposes. Proposed legislation in Ohio, New Hampshire, and Indiana that would limit student voting rights through amended residency standards has met varied results. At the center of the issue is the definition of residency for voter registration purposes. It seems straightforward that a person who lives in a state and considers that place her residence should be able to register to vote there. The reality, however, can be more complicated. Most states have residency standards for voting that often differ from residency for other purposes within the state, such as paying taxes or registering a motor vehicle. Whatever residency standards exist for these latter obligations, most states allow students, people working in temporary jobs, and active duty military stationed in the state to vote if they have a physical presence in the state, a place they call home, in which they have a present intent to stay. Some states, however, in an effort to discourage young voters, are trying to change these generally accepted standards.

Full Article: Changing Residency Standards Attack Student Voters | Robert M. Brandon.

North Carolina: Superior Court judge orders early voting site for ASU campus | News Observer

A Wake County Superior Court judge has sided with a group of Appalachian State University students who were miffed that there wasn’t an early voting site on campus this year. Judge Donald Stephens on Monday kicked Watauga County’s plan back to the State Board of Elections for revision, ordered it to include “at least one” ASU early voting site, and agreed with the plaintiffs that the plan violated a constitutional provision against the discrimination of young voters. “I think it’s a great victory for voting rights,” said Bill Gilkeson, attorney for the seven plaintiffs, five of whom are students. Elections records show Watauga County has the highest percentage of student voters of any county in the state, while the plaintiffs’ petition for judicial review noted students make up 34 percent of the county’s population. “All credible evidence indicates that the sole purpose of that plan was to eliminate an early voting site on campus so as to discourage student voting and, as such, it is unconstitutional,” wrote Stephens in his order.

Full Article: RALEIGH: NC Superior Court judge orders early voting site for ASU campus | State Politics | NewsObserver.com.

Wisconsin: College students facing challenges with Voter ID Law

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire leaders will meet Thursday to discuss the new Voter ID Law and what it means for students who want to vote in November. Following the reinstatement of the Voter ID Law last Friday, UW-Madison announced that it will provide students with separate voter ID cards starting next week. It’s an idea UW-Eau Claire says it will also discuss. Student leaders say it’s already a challenge to get students registered and to the polls to vote, but now with the requirement for a valid photo ID, there may be other hurdles. Jordan Luehmann, a student at UW-Eau Claire, said voting is important because at the end of the day, voting is what makes a difference. “It’s important for the country’s future, it’s important for you now even in college,” said Luehmann. “Even if you don’t like politics, the one thing you should do is vote. I think that’s a powerful thing to do.”

Full Article: College students facing challenges with Voter ID Law.

Editorials: Sky-high stakes in Texas voter ID trial | Zachary Roth/MSNBC

For students at Prairie View A&M, a historically black university about an hour’s drive from Houston, the right to vote has never come easy. In the early 1970s—soon after 18-, 19-, and 20-year-olds gained the franchise—the Waller County voting registrar began requiring that students answer questions about their employment status, property ownership, and other issues before they could be added to the rolls. He was stopped by a federal court, in a key ruling for student voting rights. A few years later, local officials tried to move school-board elections from April to August, making it harder for Prairie View students to vote—a scheme that was blocked by the Justice Department. Then in 2004, the local prosecutor sent a letter to election administrators saying Prairie View students weren’t automatically eligible to vote at their college address, and threatening the possibility of arrest, before backing down amid an outcry. That same year, the county tried to cut early voting hours on campus—again, it was stopped by the federal government. And in 2008, the county acknowledged in a settlement with the Bush Justice Department that it had rejected voter registration applications in violation of federal voting law, primarily affecting Prairie View students. 

Full Article: Sky-high stakes in Texas voter ID trial | MSNBC.

Tennessee: Senate panel rejects bill to let students use IDs to vote | The Tennessean

A Senate committee rejected a bill Tuesday that would have let students at public colleges and universities use their campus identification cards to vote. The Senate State & Local Committee voted 7-2 against Senate Bill 1082, which would have amended the voter ID law that the Tennessee General Assembly passed less than three years ago. Senate Minority Leader Jim Kyle, the Memphis Democrat who sponsored the measure, argued that the voter ID requirement has been a burden to students because they often do not have driver’s licenses. “Voter ID is not wrong, in my mind, per se,” he said. “Where I do believe states get into difficulty … is whether or not the access to the voter ID is fair and reasonable.” The panel spent about seven minutes debating the bill, which has been pending since last year. Similar measures have failed in the past.

Full Article: Senate panel rejects bill to let students use IDs to vote | The Tennessean | tennessean.com.

North Carolina: One victory, one defeat for student voting rights in North Carolina | MSNBC

In what’s been described as a victory for student voting rights, the North Carolina Board of Elections ruled Tuesday that an Elizabeth City State University student can run for office using his school address, despite challenges from Republicans. The Pasquotank County Republican Party chair had challenged Montravias King‘s candidacy for city council on the grounds that his on-campus address did not prove permanent residency. Republicans on the local board of elections upheld that challenge, disqualifying King from running for office. On Tuesday, the State Board of Elections reversed that decision.

Full Article: One victory, one defeat for student voting rights in North Carolina — MSNBC.

Editorials: North Carolina’s Student Voting Battle Is Not Over | Penda D. Hair/Huffington Post

Apparently, it wasn’t enough for the state of North Carolina to pass the most far-reaching and extreme voting law in the nation. The radical rollback of voting rights, signed into law by Governor Pat McCrory a few weeks ago, cuts a week from early voting, eliminates same-day voter registration, creates a strict photo ID requirement (which specifically prohibits college IDs from being accepted for voting), bans the pre-registration of 16- and 17-year-olds, and expands the ability to challenge voters, among other sweeping provisions. Collectively, these changes make it harder to vote for people of color, students, seniors, people with disabilities and low-income North Carolinians. Yet the state did not stop there. Now two county election boards have employed a top-down approach to take over the voting process at the local level. They are specifically taking aim at student voting. Just days after the state’s restrictive voting law took hold, election officials in Watauga and Pasquotank counties announced policies to drastically curb student voting. First, the local elections board of Watauga County, home to Appalachian State University, voted to eliminate an early voting and general election polling place on campus. Now students seeking to cast a ballot will have to travel to an off-campus voting site that is absurdly difficult to reach: inaccessible by public transportation, and over a mile from campus, alongside a 45 mph road with no sidewalk. Worse still, in the Watauga County election board’s decision to condense what used to be three county polling places into one, this single precinct — which was designed for 1,500 voters and only has 35 parking spaces — will have to serve 9,300 voters.

Full Article: North Carolina's Student Voting Battle Is Not Over | Penda D. Hair.

North Carolina: Elections Board to hear cases that touch on student voting rights | News Observer

As college students across the country settle into new routines that the start of a semester typically bring, many in North Carolina are complaining of feeling unsettled about their voting rights. Since mid-August, when Gov. Pat McCrory signed broad revisions to North Carolina’s elections law, local elections boards in several counties – including Pasquotank and Watauga – have initiated changes that college students are fighting as attempts to suppress their votes. Three cases are scheduled to be heard by the state Board of Elections on Tuesday afternoon. Students and civic groups including NCPIRG, Common Cause, Ignite NC, NCSU Student Power Union, Democracy NC and Rock the Vote will gather outside the meeting to urge the board to reverse local county board decisions that protest organizers describe as ones “that make it harder for young people to vote and participate in our democracy.”

Full Article: RALEIGH: N.C. Elections Board to hear cases that touch on student voting rights | Local/State | NewsObserver.com.

North Carolina: Lawmakers meet raucous crowd at Charlotte forum | Charlotte Observer

Reflecting the tensions that marked North Carolina’s legislative session, seven Mecklenburg lawmakers sparred with each other and their audience Wednesday night over the new voting law, education spending and Charlotte’s airport. In a lively exchange at the forum sponsored by the Observer and PNC Bank, lawmakers answered questions about what guest host Mike Collins called a “tumultuous” session. The panel’s four Republicans often found themselves on the defensive before a sometimes raucous audience at Central Piedmont Community College.

Full Article: N.C. lawmakers meet raucous crowd at Charlotte forum | CharlotteObserver.com.

Texas: New law may restrict student voting | The Collegian

Students without a state-issued ID may find it difficult to vote this year since school-issued student IDs will not be accepted. After the Supreme Court struck down the provision of the Voting Rights Act requiring some states to get federal preclearance before changing voting laws, the Texas attorney general immediately enforced controversial redistricting maps and strict voter ID laws approved by the legislature. These are the same laws that a panel of federal judges claimed last year would “impose strict and unforgiving burdens on the poor” and are some of the “most stringent in the country.” In 2008, the 18-to-29-year-old demographic made up 16 percent of Texas voters in the presidential election, roughly 1.3 million. A majority of them voted Democratic. Opponents of the legislation claim this is a tactic used by the Republican Party, along with the controversial redistricting maps, to cut into the Democratic vote. Being the gun-loving state that it is, Texas will accept a concealed handgun license at the polls. Other forms of ID that will be accepted are a state-issued driver’s license or ID card issued by the Department of Public Safety, a military ID containing the person’s photograph, a U.S. citizenship certificate, a U.S. passport or Texas elections ID.

Full Article: New law may restrict student voting | The Collegian.

North Carolina: County Election Boards Escalate Attack on Student Voting | The Nation

Hours after passing the country’s worst voter suppression law, North Carolina Republicans escalated their attempts to prevent students from participating in the political process. The GOP-controlled board of elections in Pasquotank County voted to disqualify Montravias King, a senior at historically black Elizabeth City State University, from running for city council, claiming King couldn’t use his student address to establish residency, even though he’s been registered to vote there since 2009. “The head of the county’s Republican Party said he plans to challenge the voter registrations of more students at the historically black university ahead of upcoming elections,” the AP reported. The GOP chair of the Forsyth County Board of Elections is moving to shut down an early voting site at historically black Winston-Salem State University because he claims students were offered extra credit in class for voting there. “He offered no proof such irregularities had occurred,” the Raleigh News and Observer noted.

Full Article: North Carolina Republicans Escalate Attack on Student Voting | The Nation.

North Carolina: County elections boards in North Carolina challenging college student voting patterns | NewsObserver.com

Montravias King is an Elizabeth City State University senior who has been voting in Pasquotank County since he started school there four years ago. The civic-minded student government leader has voted early in city, county, state and national elections in the Pasquotank County seat in northeastern North Carolina, always using his campus dorm address. Now King wants to run for City Council in his college town and his campaign has drawn the attention of such national media figures as MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, a vocal critic of the sweeping North Carolina elections revisions signed into law last week. Pete Gilbert, the Pasquotank Republican Party chairman, has tried to put a halt to King’s candidacy in a campaign that could test the scope of the state’s elections law changes. As voting site changes are proposed for other college campuses, the Eastern North Carolina incident also could test the extent to actions that voting rights advocates have described as a GOP-controlled effort to weaken turnout among young voters more likely to vote against them.

Full Article: County elections boards in NC challenging college student voting patterns | Local/State | NewsObserver.com.

North Carolina: Elections boards move to curtail student voting | The State

Within hours of Gov. Pat McCrory signing a Republican-backed bill this week making sweeping changes to the state’s voting laws, local elections boards in two college towns made moves that could make it harder for students to vote. The Watauga County Board of Elections voted Monday to eliminate an early voting site and election-day polling precinct on the campus of Appalachian State University. The Pasquotank County Board of Elections on Tuesday barred an Elizabeth City State University senior from running for city council, ruling his on-campus address couldn’t be used to establish local residency. Following the decision, the head of the county’s Republican Party said he plans to challenge the voter registrations of more students at the historically black university ahead of upcoming elections. Voting rights advocates worry the decisions could signal a statewide effort by GOP-controlled elections boards to discourage turnout among young voters considered more likely to support Democrats.

Full Article: RALEIGH, N.C.: NC elections boards move to curtail student voting | National Politics | The State.

North Carolina: Elections boards move to curtail student voting | The State

Within hours of Gov. Pat McCrory signing a Republican-backed bill this week making sweeping changes to the state’s voting laws, local elections boards in two college towns made moves that could make it harder for students to vote. The Watauga County Board of Elections voted Monday to eliminate an early voting site and election-day polling precinct on the campus of Appalachian State University. The Pasquotank County Board of Elections on Tuesday barred an Elizabeth City State University senior from running for city council, ruling his on-campus address couldn’t be used to establish local residency. Following the decision, the head of the county’s Republican Party said he plans to challenge the voter registrations of more students at the historically black university ahead of upcoming elections. Voting rights advocates worry the decisions could signal a statewide effort by GOP-controlled elections boards to discourage turnout among young voters considered more likely to support Democrats.

Full Article: RALEIGH, N.C.: NC elections boards move to curtail student voting | National Politics | The State.

New York: Dutchess college students win voting rights suit with federal court settlement | Daily Freeman

Dutchess County’s Republican elections commissioner has agreed to stop demanding college students provide the name of their dorms and their room number in order to register to vote. That agreement, approved on May 13 by U.S. District Judge Kenneth Karas, settles a class action suit brought by four students attending colleges in Dutchess County who claimed they were illegally denied the right to vote in the 2012 election. 

Full Article: Dutchess college students win voting rights suit with federal court settlement (With court consent order) - DailyFreeman.com.

North Carolina: Senate bill seeks to curb college vote | WRAL.com

A bill filed in the state Senate Tuesday would carry a tax penalty for parents whose children register to vote at their college address. Senate Bill 667, known as “Equalize Voter Rights,” would remove the tax exemption for dependents who register to vote at any address other than their parents’ home. “If the voter is a dependent of the voter’s parent or legal guardian, is 18 years of age or older and the voter has registered at an address other than that of the parent or legal guardian, the parent or legal guardian will not be allowed to claim the voter as a dependent for state income tax purposes,” the bill says. The measure would affect only state income tax, so it wouldn’t have much effect on out-of-state students. But it could effectively cut student voting in counties like Watauga and Orange, where college voters have been a key part of the Democratic Party’s dominance. 

Full Article: Senate bill seeks to curb college vote :: WRAL.com.

National: Voter Harassment, Circa 2012 | NYTimes.com

This is how voter intimidation worked in 1966: White teenagers in Americus, Ga., harassed black citizens in line to vote, and the police refused to intervene. Black plantation workers in Mississippi had to vote in plantation stores, overseen by their bosses. Black voters in Choctaw County, Ala., had to hand their ballots directly to white election officials for inspection. This is how it works today: In an ostensible hunt for voter fraud, a Tea Party group, True the Vote, descends on a largely minority precinct and combs the registration records for the slightest misspelling or address error. It uses this information to challenge voters at the polls, and though almost every challenge is baseless, the arguments and delays frustrate those in line and reduce turnout. The thing that’s different from the days of overt discrimination is the phony pretext of combating voter fraud. Voter identity fraud is all but nonexistent, but the assertion that it might exist is used as an excuse to reduce the political rights of minorities, the poor, students, older Americans and other groups that tend to vote Democratic.

Full Article: Voter Harassment, Circa 2012 - NYTimes.com.

New Hampshire: Attorney General to appeal judge’s order on out-of-state student voting | SeacoastOnline.com

The New Hampshire attorney general will appeal a Strafford County Superior Court ruling Monday that put on hold a new voter registration law that opponents claimed would disenfranchise nonresident college students. Secretary of State Bill Gardner, who supported the law that the Republican-dominated Legislature passed over Gov. John Lynch’s veto earlier this year, said he was told by the attorney general’s office that it would challenge Judge John Lewis’ decision. The ruling was issued after the state and the plaintiffs failed to come up with an agreement to remedy the dispute last week. In an eight-page decision, Lewis said the law did not pass “constitutional muster” and ordered the state to issue new voter registration forms without the language that required newly registered voters to acknowledge they are subject to all residency laws, including driver’s license and auto registration laws.

Full Article: N.H. AG to appeal judge's order on out-of-state student voting | SeacoastOnline.com.

National: Voter ID Laws Take Aim At College-Student Voters | Huffington Post

In Tennessee, a new law requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls explicitly excludes student IDs. In Wisconsin, college students are newly disallowed from using university-provided housing lists or corroboration from other students to verify their residence. Florida’s reduction in early voting days is expected to reduce the number of young and first-time voters there. And Pennsylvania’s voter identification bill, still on the books for now, disallows many student IDs and non-Pennsylvania driver’s licenses, which means out-of-state students may be turned away at the polls. 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.

Full Article: Voter ID Laws Take Aim At College-Student Voters.

Pennsylvania: Voter ID Law Will Prevent College Students from Voting | PolicyMic

This November should be an exciting time on Pennsylvania college campuses. Students across the state, many for the first time, will cast a vote in the presidential election. Unfortunately, many Pennsylvania students will be kept out of our political process. Some will not bother to go to the polls because they lack any of the recently specified forms of required photo identification; others will be turned away because they are unaware of the state’s new law. This is because of Pennsylvania’s new, complex voter ID law that puts strict requirements on which student IDs are acceptable for voting. Several student IDs issued by Pennsylvania colleges and universities currently do not comply with the new voter ID law. The few types of identification cards that will be acceptable in Pennsylvania for the November election include U.S. military IDs; employee photo IDs issued by federal or Pennsylvania state, county or municipal governments; photo ID cards issued by a Pennsylvania care facility; photo IDs issued by the U.S. Federal Government or the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, or photo ID cards from an accredited Pennsylvania public or private institution of higher learning.

Full Article: Pennsylvania Voter ID Law Will Prevent College Students from Voting.