Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

New Hampshire targets student voters

New Hampshire Republicans are pushing legislation that could make it more difficult for the state’s college students to vote.

Other proposed laws might prevent students from voting by tightening the definition of residency, according to the New Hampshire Legislature website. Texas is not considering any similar laws.

One of the bills would end the Election Day registration, keeping citizens from signing up last minute and casting their votes. Most states, including Texas, do not allow Election Day registration. Another bill would require parents of college students to establish residency in the state before a student can register to vote, according to the bill.

College kids are “foolish” and tend to vote liberal, said New Hampshire’s House speaker and Republican William O’Brien during a speech to a Tea Party group. In an interview with Fox News earlier this week, O’Brien said the goal of the residency law was to keep students from voting both in their hometowns and again in the New Hampshire districts where they attend school.

“This coupled with a lax definition of residency creates an environment in which people could potentially claim residency in multiple locations,” O’Brien said in a press release.

Emily Einsohn, program coordinator of the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Participation at UT, said Texas does not have any similar legislation that requires parents to establish residency in Texas before college students can register to vote.

“It is essential for young people to have their voices heard through the voting process as well as through other avenues of civic engagement in order to break the cycle of neglect that so often occurs when young people don’t participate as an engaged electorate,” Einsohn said.

Texas students can choose to register in their hometowns or the places where they attend college, said Texas secretary of state spokesman Randall Dillard.

“As long as you’re registered to vote in Texas, you have the right to go to cast your vote,” Dillard said.

Public Affairs professor Edwin Dorn said lawmakers often try to prevent their constituents from having a say if their policies conflict with public opinion.

“If you know your policies are not going to appeal to college students, then you will do what you can to keep them from participating in politics [through] voting,” Dorn said.

Student Government Executive Director Jimmy Talarico said it is the responsibility of students in New Hampshire to speak out against such bills.
“Students are already disenfranchised by laws that require you to change your voter registration with the change of your address,” government senior Talarico said about voting laws in Texas.

He said many of the issues that are discussed by lawmakers directly affect the future of students. It is vital that students make their voices heard by casting a vote, Talarico said. He was part of an SG initiative called Hook the Vote in 2008 and 2010 that helped UT students register to vote.

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New Hampshire targets student voters