Blog: The Educated Reporter

Will College Student Get to Vote in the 2012 Elections?

Was anyone else dismayed by this New York Times editorial noting that many college students could be disenfranchised in the 2012 elections? The editorial notes that Republican state lawmakers appear to be pushing legislation intended to keep younger voters from the polls.

According to the editorial, Republicans acknowledge part of their motivation stems from the fact that college-age voters tend to be more liberal. Not all of them are, of course. Take, for example, the sorry state of affairs among the University of Texas Young Republicans. The group is on its second president this year, after the first resigned in November for an inappropriate tweet about President Obama. (Her replacement doesn’t seem to be much more thoughtful with her thumbs.)

Texas represents an extreme example. In reality, college is a place where many students try on different identities and ideologies to try and get a better sense of what fits. That’s actually one of the best arguments for a liberal arts education. Not every college student is going to hold the same beliefs as a senior that they held as a freshman. But they are still entitled to exercise their right to vote, even if those votes don’t go the way some Republican lawmakers might wish.

How active are the political groups on your college and university campuses? What about at the community colleges, where students tend to be slightly older and, in some cases, even more engaged in civic life?


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