The bill aims to curb voter fraud (that doesn't actually exist) and give long term residents more voting heft by preventing students from establishing residency in their college towns while in school, allowing them to vote only if they or their parents had established permanent residency there. (Military personnel stationed in New Hampshire would face similar problems.) They also want to eliminate Election Day registration, a procedure that is known to produce higher turnout of young voters. Wisconsin is using a different tactic to try and control student voting as well. Instead of barring residency, Wisconsin legislators are trying to pass voter I.D. laws. The problem with this is only a state identification or driver’s license, a passport or military ID will be accepted. Since student IDs are usually the only in state identification they have, many students would be barred from voting.
|more about voter disenfranchisement efforts here|
Interesting thing is, this move in New Hampshire has actually united students of different political ideologies on campuses. “Clearly there are some Republican legislators in these states that I do think have partisan motivation here,” said Rod Snyder, president of Young Democrats of America. But, he noted, “I think it has the potential to depress youth voter turnout in general. Regardless of which way young people are voting, these types of tactics are going to make it harder…. The bottom line is, we just want to make sure they have the opportunity to vote, regardless of what they decide.” Unfortunately Wisconsin hasn't gotten the same amount of non-partisanship, but the current union issues and the bills less obvious attack on student's voter rights makes that understandable.
Luckily, this issue is getting more press and the bill can still be vetoed by New Hampshire's Democratic Governor (though this is no certainty). It seems silly to complain about student's lack of civic engagement and simultaneously try and stop them from voting. As long as students meet the residency requirements of a state, I can't see any reason why they shouldn't be allowed to vote.