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College-age voters: increasingly courted – and thwarted

Sep 25, 2018 by

Why We Wrote This

Many students are too busy to care much about politics, but those who tune in can make the difference in a tight race – so battles are heating up over whether certain voting rules create unfair barriers.

By Stacy Teicher Khadaroo Staff writer

At the University of Southern Maine’s Husky Fest activities fair, as a DJ churns out tunes on the lawn, a steady stream of students stop by two tables where activists are encouraging them to register to vote. All it takes: filling out a card. Young people are expected to have a strong impact on this fall’s elections in Maine, which has had one of the nation’s highest rates of youth turnout in recent years. But in neighboring New Hampshire a debate is raging over how student voters define “home.” A law poised to take effect next summer will require anyone claiming their college address as their residence for the purpose of voting to transfer their driver’s license and re-register their vehicle. In battles over voter ID laws, Republicans typically emphasize concerns about fraud, while Democrats tend to focus on the impact tighter rules have on minorities. Increasingly, however, youth voters are joining the list of those who feel targeted. A lot of young people “don’t even know how to start voting,” so seemingly small barriers can add up to lower turnout, says Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, director of CIRCLE, a civic-engagement research center at Tufts University.

Source: College-age voters: increasingly courted – and thwarted – CSMonitor.com

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