DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

Opinion

August 22, 2013

Letters to the Editor

Students vote where they attend college

To the editor:

Since in-person voter fraud has been shown to be practically nonexistent in the U.S., one might ask why is it the Republicans and their Tea Party allies keep bringing it up? Now, we have an answer, straight from the horse’s mouth, none other than Bill O’Brien, former Republican speaker of the N.H. House. He stated that students registering to vote, “are basically doing what I did when I was a kid and foolish, voting liberal.” That’s it: we need to keep people from voting liberal! Thanks, Bill!

Now we can understand why, in state after state, where Republicans and their Tea Party allies have control, they have pushed laws to suppress the vote. They have shortened hours polling places are open, eliminated early voting, shortened the number of days citizens can register to vote, passed draconian voter ID laws, eliminated same day registration, eliminated Sunday voting, cut down on the number of polling places and voting machines in Democratic neighborhoods and on and on. Every one of these measures is designed to suppress the vote of groups that traditionally vote Democratic: blacks, Hispanics, the elderly, college students, the poor.

More than 180 voter suppression bills were introduced by Republicans in 41 states between January 2011 and the September 2012 (Mother Jones, Sept 17, 2012). These efforts are designed to make it impossible or more difficult for as many as 5 million legitimate voters to cast their ballots.

New Hampshire is not immune to this plague. One example: In 2012, New Hampshire’s Republican-dominated legislature, in a nakedly partisan move, passed a law requiring student voters to jump through a series of hoops before they could vote. The US Supreme Court’s position on this issue is clear: a 1979 ruling found that all students have the right to vote where they attend college. (Symm vs. the United States, 1979).

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