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You Gotta Fight, For Your Right To…Vote?

March 9, 2011

Theres a lot of anticipation for the upcoming 2012 presidential election and it seems that GOP lawmakers are already stirring the pot. I read an article on Yahoo News today about the plans of some Republican lawmakers to institute new regulations on voters rights. Specifically, limiting the rights of college students who vote. Currently there are 32 states in which Republican lawmakers are pushing propositions requiring all voters to show state identification or proof of citizenship prior to casting their vote. Can we say duh? No argument here on that one. In New Hampshire, GOP lawmakers are taking it a little further by trying to eliminate college student voters who live in the state. According to House Speaker William O’Brien, college voters are “Foolish, voting as a liberal. That’s what kids do. (They) lack life experience (and) just vote their feelings.” Hmmm, they also don’t vote based off personal political gains or profit (say that 5 times fast!). While the other GOP lawmakers in New Hampshire have distanced themselves from House Speaker O’Brien, they are still actively pursuing increased limits on college voters.

The limits include a bill that would only allow college students to vote within the state their parents have a permanent resident. Using school issued identification would become invalid, only identification issued from the state would be allowed. The reason for the new proposed regulations, according to the GOP lawmakers, is to “crack down on voter fraud.” Democrats however believe these new regulations are being used as a means to prevent young people and minorities from voting in the upcoming election. Two groups who were a key base of support in President Obama’s campaign back in 2008. Rock the Vote, a youth voter-registration group, was quoted as saying, “It’s a war on voting. We’d like to be advocating for a 21st-century voting system, but here we are fighting against efforts to turn it back to the 19th century.”

Many college students in New Hampshire have already begun protesting outside the state capitol building, refusing to give up their voting rights quietly. According to Peter Wallsten of The Washington Post, “These measures have set off a partisan battle over voting rights across the country, with Democrats accusing Republicans of trying to suppress voters who would cast their ballots for President Obama next year.” How far these regulations will go is yet to be seen. The worry is that many GOP run states will jump on board with New Hampshire, changing the voting policy across the nation.

Here at GAI (www.gunwel.com) we would love to know how you vote in on this electoral battle. Would you want your rights limited to the point that they almost seem to be taken away? For any tax-paying citizen that seems ridiculous. If you are required to pay taxes (and do so), you should be allowed to vote. Nervous about the state your taxes this year? Let us take care of that for you!  Give us a call at 212-979-6830 or stop by for a visit. We are open Monday-Friday 8am-8pm and Saturdays 8am-5pm.

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