Check out Chrissy from Rock the Vote moderating Self Magazine’s #13for13 Resolutions for a Better HOA: Get Involved. Featuring panelists from the Knight Foundation’s, Jeff Coates; Ashoka’s Lennon Flowers; Alex Smith, from the College Republican National Committee; Chris Wallas, Obama Campaign Field Organizer from Prince George’s County and and Devin Foley, from The Intellectual Takeout.
Archive for the
‘voting rights’ Category
Get Involved 2013Friday, January 25th, 2013
Cater to Us!Friday, June 15th, 2012
2008 saw the rise of a growing, powerful and concerned voting electorate. Politicians, as well as political pundits, underestimated the engagement and ultimately the voting power of youth in America during that presidential election cycle. Yet again we’re seeing that play out again. There’s all this talk about the disengagement of my generation; but why would we be engaged – when neither of the candidates or their campaigns are addressing the issues that will directly affect us? I want to vote – because I have something at stake and my voice is important and my vote is the way to influence the world around me – but these politicians need to earn my vote.
Flashback to 2008: Millennials voted in that presidential election in record numbers because we were engaged by the political process; and it was our overwhelming engagement that led to the victory of President Obama.
The number of youth under 30 is rapidly rising and diversifying. Soon young adults under the age of 30 will make up nearly a fourth of the voting age population. If that’s not enough proof of the power young Americans could have, consider the estimated 16 million citizens that have turned 18 since the 2008 elections. These candidates can’t win without our support on November 6th, 2012 – and they should realize that.
So if Mitt Romney and President Obama want our vote, they need to engage us. Talk to us about making college more affordable and accessible or job creation, for example. Instead, the issues affecting young adults are superficially addressed, and only when it becomes a matter of convenience for candidates. I would be hard pressed to believe that either candidate would have addressed the issues around the student loan interest rate hike, which congress has yet to fully address, had their not been such an outcry by students, families & numerous organization across the country. And, recently Mitt Romney’s campaign released a graphic comparing his first 100 days in office to President Obama’s. Looking through this chart, I couldn’t help but notice one glaring omission: youth were not addressed at all. By not fully addressing youth voters, both candidates are risking a lofty portion of the electorate not being mobilized to vote. This is appalling to me and I imagine others feel similarly.
I know we are still considered by many pundits to be the apathetic and lazy section of the electorate. Statements like “youth voter turnout is predicted to drop significantly in the 2012 U.S. presidential election, due partly to the decline in political interest among young people” (Youth Votes Will Drop Significantly In 2012 Election) So lets change the Narrative!
To the young voters reading this, let’s force them to recognize the power we have and will have in the voting booths on Election Day, so they don’t continue to discount us or our votes OR worse, take them for granted. We need to communicate to the campaigns that they need to communicate to us. Make it clear that we want to hear from the candidates directly, and on the issues that matter to our generation.
And to the candidates, loop us in! I’m confident that effort will go a long way..
The end of college voting in North Carolina?Friday, June 8th, 2012
I grew up in North Carolina, and I go to college at Duke University. Even though my driver’s license has my home address on it, I chose to register and vote at college for a variety of reasons – we have an early voting site on campus, I can walk in and vote with just my college ID card to prove my residency, and I would have to go home or vote using an absentee ballot otherwise. At a college with the vast majority of students hailing from outside of the state, many other students also choose to vote on campus.
However, last year, the North Carolina state legislature passed a bill that would require residents to have a state-issued ID in order to vote. While it was vetoed by the governor, the bill is back on the agenda, and it only needs a few members of the state house to change sides in order to override the veto. The original bill may need to be watered down before passage, but both versions would lead to massive drop-offs in the rate of college voting.
The forms of identification that may be provided include “bank statement, utility bills, or any government documents with name and address” in addition to driver licenses, passports, and new voter registration cards. Most students living in on-campus dorms have none of these, and if they do, they usually contain the student’s home address. It remains to be seen whether tuition bills would be acceptable as a form of identification, but requiring students to bring another piece of identification to vote will decrease turnout. The bill does not allow student IDs to be used as identification, even those issued by state universities such as UNC. Right now, my college ID card is proof of my residency in the dorm and I do not need a photo ID to vote. I do not have any pieces of identification that could be used to vote at school – I would be forced to vote at home.
Voter fraud isn’t exactly a pervasive problem. As WRAL News reports, “In 2011, the North Carolina State Board of Elections identified 12 non-citizens who had improperly voted in a North Carolina election. That’s 12 out of 6.3 million registered voters.” There is no need to put more restrictions on voting. If this voter suppression bill is passed, it will place an undue burden on thousands of college students wishing to vote.
Primary Day in New HampshireTuesday, January 10th, 2012
It is Primary Day in New Hampshire. The first primary in the 2012 contest. And while voters are heading to the polls for the Democratic and Republican primaries (polls close at 7pm!), some misinformation is being spread about the voting laws.
So here is the low-down:
1/ If you are registered to vote already, you do not need to bring ID to the polls.
2/ If you are not registered to vote, you can do so at the polls today (!) and you must bring proof of who you are and where you live (utility bill, student ID, etc)
Last year, the state of NH tried to pass legislation that would make it nearly impossible for out-of-state students to vote, end same-day voter registration, and require very specific voter ID at the polls. But students and citizens in NH rallied and won! The measures were all rejected.
But today there has been a bunch of confusion caused by misinformation about voting rights flying around NH.
Check out this message from Rock the Vote’s Amanda Brown (who used to be a student voter in NH) as she sets the record straight.
If you have questions about election information, go to electionland.com for more information.
And, clearly the attempts to make it harder for students to vote whether through laws or confusion are not going away. Rock the Vote will be fighting back. If you want to help, sign up to join our ‘Rock the Vote, Don’t Bock the Vote’ campaign.
War on Voting: Week(s) End UpdateFriday, August 12th, 2011
It has been a while since we surveyed the battlefield in the war on voting, so here are some odds and ends from the states. I’m doing this alphabetically, I hope:
Kansas: Earlier this year, Kansas enacted new photo ID and proof of citizenship requirements for voting. Under the new law, these requirements would go into effect in 2013. Not good enough, says Secretary of State Kris Kobach. He wants to get those bad boys implemented for the 2012 elections – an idea rejected by the state Senate when it decided to go with the 2013 implementation. Kobach may try to do it anyway. Good luck with that.
Maine: This week, the Protect Maine Votes coalition submitted more than 68,000 signatures to halt the elimination of Election Day registration by placing a People’s Veto on the ballot in November. Earlier this year, the Maine legislature overturned a 38-year old practice that nearly 70,000 people used to register and cast their ballots during the last two elections. The good news: Maine voters – not self-interested politicians – will get to decide whether we will continue to be able to register to vote at the polls.
For more information on the campaign to protect Election Day registration, go to www.ProtectMaineVotes.com.
New Hampshire: It looks like the state legislature is going to try to override the Governor’s veto of the strict photo ID legislation in early September. Nine state Senators will need to vote to uphold the Governor’s veto; right now there are only seven or eight votes to sustain the veto. We’ll see what happens.
North Carolina: The state House failed to override the Governor’s veto last month, but the legislative leadership is still holding out the possibility that they will try again at a later date.
The latest twist in the state is that nine people are being prosecuted for double voting in the 2008 election. To that I say, “GOOD! Fraudulent voting is ILLEGAL and should be punished.”
Of course, proponents of photo ID have jumped on this. As the Raleigh News & Observer wrote, the state Republican Party sent out an “I-told-you-so news release,” which said: “The reason why Republicans have fought to promote proper voter-identification laws is to prevent fraud like this from happening.”
The problem, as the article points out: “None of the cases would have been prevented if the voters had been required to show photo identification…” Exactly right. Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby, the man prosecuting the double voters, noted: “I don’t think voter ID had anything to do with this – just people voting twice, not using another person’s name or dead Aunt Betty.”
Read the whole story here.
Ohio: Voting rights organizations, lead by former Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, are taking steps to put the new election “reform” bill on the ballot in 2012 so voters can decide if they want to implement the law. Highlights of the bill: shortens the early voting period, eliminates the “golden week” when voters could go to the polls to register and vote at the same time, and eliminates the requirement that poll workers tell you if you are in the wrong polling place. (We’ve written about its non-awesomeness here.)
What’s cool about this approach is that if enough signatures are collected to put a referendum on the ballot, the law itself cannot be implemented until after the 2012 elections.
Tennessee: The state government is trying to help people get photo IDs before the new law kicks into effect in 2012. That’s nice. Read about it here.
Texas: The Texas Tribune did a short write-up about how the new Texas law, which still needs to be cleared by the Department of Justice under the Voting Rights Act, compares with other states’ laws. Conclusion: it is one of the strictest. You can read the primer here.
Wisconsin: Some potentially good news on the photo ID front on Wisconsin campuses. You may recall that the new photo ID law in the Badger State allows for student IDs to be used at the polls provided they have a photo, a signature and expire every two years. Of course, no student ID at any college or university in the state met those requirements. Now word is coming out that several schools are working to solve the problem by making changes to student IDs.
Students at University of Wisconsin-Platteville might see these changes this fall. Officials said that they’ve remade the identification cards.
“We had to come up with a different way to look at a different ID card or something to modify our ID card,” said Jim Mueller, of UW-Platteville auxiliary services.
The current IDs at Platteville only have a photo and no expiration date. Instead of changing all the IDs, the school will create a special card for voting.
“If we change it to our whole student ID card, there would be 8,000 cards we’d have to issue immediately. Then, about every year because of the expiration date, it would be about 2,000 every year, Mueller said.
Instead of the 2,000 some out-of-state students could get a voter ID card and the rest could use their state driver’s license.
“We just want to make sure that our students can vote, and to make it as easy for them as possible so they can be part of the democratic process,” Mueller said.
The story also notes that UW-Lacrosse is considering a similar plan of issuing “voting IDs” to out-of-state students and UW-Madison is looking at changing the actual student ID to be compliant.