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
October 22nd 2009
St. Paul should join IRV bandwagon
Star Tribune

Star Tribune stands behind IRV voting. They believe that if this system is used in St. Paul, it will show the state of Missouri that IRV can work and can better represent the voters in the state.

October 19th 2009
A better election system
Lowell Sun

Election expert Doug Amy explains how choice voting can "inject new blood" into the elections of Lowell (MA), and give voters a greater incentive to participate.

October 19th 2009
Minneapolis lauches IRV education campaign for Nov. 3 elections

In two weeks, the city of Minneapolis will be using instant runoff voting in their elections for the first time.

October 19th 2009
Mandatory Voting? Automatic Registration? How Un-American!
Huffington Post

President of Air America Media, Mark Green, explains why Instant Runoff Voting, Automatic Registration and Mandatory Voting are not only important but could lead to a more democratic society.

October 18th 2009
Pierce County voters should keep ranked-choice voting
The Seattle Times

The Seattle Times recommends a No vote on Pierce County Charter Amendment 3, which would repeal ranked-choice voting.

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