William O’Brien, the newly-minted speaker of the state House in New Hampshire, is peeved that college students are able to vote: “Foolish…Voting as a liberal. That’s what kids do.” They lack “life experience,” and “they just vote their feelings.”
State Republican lawmakers across the country share O’Brien’s sentiment. In disregard of the Twenty-Sixth Amendment, they are mounting a concerted and sustained push to reduce young adults’ voting rights, the Washington Post reports:
New Hampshire’s new Republican state House speaker is pretty clear about what he thinks of college kids and how they vote. They’re “foolish,” Speaker William O’Brien said in a recent speech to a tea party group.
“Voting as a liberal. That’s what kids do,” he added, his comments taped by a state Democratic Party staffer and posted on YouTube. Students lack “life experience,” and “they just vote their feelings.”
New Hampshire House Republicans are pushing for new laws that would prohibit many college students from voting in the state – and effectively keep some from voting at all.
One bill would permit students to vote in their college towns only if they or their parents had previously established permanent residency there – requiring all others to vote in the states or other New Hampshire towns they come from. Another bill would end Election Day registration, which O’Brien said unleashes swarms of students on polling places, creating opportunities for fraud.
The measures in New Hampshire are among dozens of voting-related bills being pushed by newly empowered Republican state lawmakers across the country – prompting partisan clashes akin to those already roiling in some states over GOP moves to curb union power.
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