While facing issues such as the devastating opioid crisis, an infrastructure that in need of modernization, and an out of date voter registration system, Concord seems to have abandoned its position of leadership. Instead of confronting these problems head on, they have instead turned their attention to disenfranchising students. A number of bills have been introduced or passed, with one awaiting the Governor’s signature, that are thinly veiled attempts at silencing the voices of college students and specifically out-of-state students like me.
These bills are part of a political philosophy and a state-wide campaign that includes messages that, left unchallenged, might seem persuasive and possibly cause some to question their support of equal opportunity to the ballot box for all members of the Granite State community. The sponsors of these bills and their proponents in Concord are using baseless arguments to substantiate their partisan actions. For instance, one lawmaker used widely debunked statistics to insinuate that these laws are necessary to prevent voter fraud. Voter fraud is a statistical myth. In a non-partisan study from Loyola Law School, it was found that laws that set forward restrictive voting law stopped a grand total of 34 voter fraud attempts out of one billion. So not only is the argument baseless, the bill is unnecessary for the stated purposes.
In a state that proudly proclaims, “Live Free or Die” we are seeing too many instances of lawmakers in Concord trying to take away the constitutionally enshrined and defended right to vote from Students. This is a reckless action to suppress the ideas and voices of thousands upon thousands of students who have invested their money and time into the communities of New Hampshire.
Not only do we want our voices to be heard, we fell our voices deserve to be heard. College students from all over New Hampshire have great ideas to bring to this state and, if involved in the political process, could help bring innovative solutions to some of our greatest challenges. These are the ideas that will have the opportunity to be highlighted in this section of “College Voices”. New Hampshire, instead of looking to baselessly narrow the requirements to vote, should instead aim to make the Granite State inclusive to all voices of its people with a streamlined and accessible voter registration system.