Stifling the Youth Vote?

Everyone’s always screaming about young Americans’ political apathy and our inability to make it to the polls. But what about election officials—instead of supporting youth participation—try and make it more difficult for us to vote?
The NY Times reported in an op-ed yesterday about the recent trend of discouraging student voters from registering in their college’s state—even though the Supreme Court says they have the right to:
In Texas this year, a county district attorney threatened to prosecute students from Prairie View A&M University if they tried to register. The students had to file a lawsuit before he withdrew the threat and apologized. A student at Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., was told that he was not a “permanent resident” and had to vote from his parents’ home in another state.
The Feminist Daily News Wire also reported recently that after a group of feminist activists at University of Arizona organized a registration drive on campus, they were warned by a Fox News reporter that they were committing a felony by registering out-of-state students. The Tucson Fox affiliate later carried a report with the same inaccuracy.
In addition, the NY Times op-ed also points out that election officials also are generally averse to putting polling places on campus and have very few registration drive resources—steps integral to making student voting easier.
This strikes me as more than a little hypocritical: young people are disparaged for not voting, but those in charge are actively trying to make it harder for us to do so! Craziness.
Some random food for thought: Why is it when talking about the “youth vote,” everyone concentrates on college students? A lot of young folks don’t go to college, it’s a privilege not everyone can afford—where’s the discussion of those voters? Just wondering…

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