Student Voting
Political apathy and subsequent low voter turnout of youth (18-29) is often cited as fact. Many decry their political disengagement and apparent laziness, but recent election cycles have presented a very different and much more troubling reason for why many youth do not vote.

Across the country, students reported that they were subjected to increased scrutiny, unequal treatment, and at times outright harassment when they attempted to register to vote or cast a ballot on Election Day. Such acts of voter intimidation and suppression are particularly distressing because most of the targeted individuals are registering to vote for the first time and are unfamiliar with election laws.

Despite the fact that every college student is entitled to register to vote at the residence he or she considers "home," including a campus residence, many college communities actively prevent college students from registering to vote where they attend school. Students around the country have faced difficulty registering to vote because of local officials. In the case of historically African-American Prairie View A&M in Texas, the District Attorney publicly stated that if students attempted to register to vote they would be prosecuted for voter fraud.

Common tactics used to dissuade students from registering to vote include:
  • Misinformation - telling college students they cannot register where they attend school or that if they register to vote at school they could be in jeopardy of losing financial aid, or that they are only able to vote where their parents pay taxes
  • Residency requirement legislation - The New Hampshire legislature passed a law after the 2000 presidential election that required newly registered voters to register their car and obtain a New Hampshire driver's license within 60 days or face criminal prosecution
Not only do students face challenges when trying to register to vote, but they also face challenges on Election Day.  In some instances, poll watchers have challenged students who are registered to vote by asking them to sign an affidavit affirming their citizenship and that they will only vote once. Long lines plagued many college campus polling places during the 2004, 2006 and 2008 election cycles.

Although students are not traditionally considered a targeted demographic for voter suppression, it is clear that they, too, face many hurdles when attempting to register and vote.

Articles on Student Voting
December 1st 2009
International Snapshot: Japan 2009

The Japanese parliamentary elections in August 30, 2009 marked a turning point in Japanese political history.

November 7th 2009
Voting Equipment and the Way Elections Are Run
New York Times

Rob Richie's letter to the editor on the dangers of the consolidation of the voting equipment industry -- placed in contrast to one of the leaders of that same industry.

October 30th 2009
Don Fraser and George Latimer: The case for instant-runoff voting is clear
Star Tribune

Two former politicians tell St. Paul voters that IRV is "vitally important to us as citizens and as members of our communities."

October 29th 2009
Plurality voting rule is the real election spoiler
Baltimore Sun

In the midst of 3-way races in NJ and NY, FairVote board member and 1980 presidential candidate John Anderson makes the case for IRV over our flawed plurality system.

October 25th 2009
CHARTER AMENDMENT 3: County voters would lose power
The News Tribune

Amendment 3 to the Pierce county charter is an attempt by incumbent politicians to rig the system and prevent any serious challengers from competing. IRV is simply too fair and too democratic to not keep using in our electoral system.

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