If you’re a politically-minded college student in Tennessee, looking forward to getting out there and having your voice heard this November as you cast your vote for … whoever … then you better make sure you have a driver’s license, because your student ID (even if it has a picture) just isn’t going to cut it. That’s just one of many new voter ID laws being enacted across the country, keeping your vote from being cast.
Sore losers on the right are going to make sure that the high youth voter turnout of 2008 doesn’t happen again, even if disillusionment will do the job for them. Republican-controlled state legislatures have been hard at work over the past two years, putting into motion laws that bar traditionally left-leaning groups from voting, though student voters are seemingly targeted more than other groups. The rationale? To avoid voter fraud. Okay, well that’s an excellent reason. Or would be, if it existed.
On their face, the laws don’t sound like a terrible idea. You should show some kind of proof that you are you, and you are an American citizen in order to vote. The problem is in the technicalities, and this is where these laws reveal their true colors. For instance, Pennsylvania’s voter ID law bans out-of-state drivers licenses. So all of the college students studying in the state of Pennsylvania have to either go home (wherever that may be) to cast a vote or submit an absentee ballot. Something. The point is, it’s harder to vote.
“It’s the little things that make voting harder that are going to affect apathetic students … This is like literally slamming the door on youth engagement,” said Maxwell Love, a 21-year-old senior at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.
What do you think of voter ID laws? Should college students be allowed to vote?