The College Democrats at Saint Anselm College, joined by Obama for America, have found a new way to gain youth voters from the acquiescent crowd: scare them and have them change their registration. Needless to say New Hampshire may have more youth voters this election cycle.
Senate bill 318 was originally pushed through in the legislature after a veto by Governor Lynch, subjecting college students to the same laws that any other New Hampshire resident would need to follow, i.e. changing car registration. During a trial hearing last month, four college students filed a petition to override the law. None of the college students are New Hampshire residents or even carry New Hampshire driving licenses, nor do they plan on staying in New Hampshire after they graduate, yet they expect their vote to matter, especially in a swing state like New Hampshire.
What cannot be ignored is the blatant undermining of the law by Obama for America, encouraging young students to claim residency in New Hampshire without any regard for the impact it could have on their financial aid or on the integrity of elections in New Hampshire. New Hampshire allows same day voter registration and, as the Obama campaign’s website explains, ‘you don’t even need a New Hampshire drivers license to apply!’
Obama For America is demonstrating an obvious disregard for state sovereignty. Not only are students voting for the President in this election cycle but also for the next Governor of New Hampshire, their respective congressmen, state and local officials, and ballot initiatives. Are we to expect that those students will become educated enough to make an informed decision outside of what the Obama campaign desires? After only one year of living in a new state, do you really understand what that state needs or are is this just encouraging more partisan politics? The same argument can be made for former New Hampshire residents who have long since moved yet retain the New Hampshire residency in order to “have a vote that counts.”
I’m from Massachusetts, I’m proud to be from Massachusetts, and I grew up understanding what Massachusetts needs and what will benefit Massachusetts. I am able to sit down and have honest conversations with family members about ballot questions and local representatives to encourage political activism. I learned the history of Massachusetts at a young age and attended tours of the state house, my local town hall, and other government agencies to learn how Massachusetts differs from other states. When I moved to New Hampshire I fell in love with the freedom and the community, but I continue to vote in Massachusetts.
It seems overtly undemocratic when one has the ability to live in one place and vote in another. Few college students are pay taxes or contribute to the growth of New Hampshire beyond their four-year stay. And even fewer may understand the impact their vote holds on New Hampshire outside of voting strictly Democrat or strictly Republican. Shame on Obama for America for encouraging students to make such a drastic and important decision a dishonest one. This election cycle, we need a President who respects state sovereignty and respects state citizens.