Voter Restriction Amendment Would Discourage College Students From Voting

“Photo ID will make voting much more difficult for college students,” activist and Iraq War veteran Alex Erickson told a town hall meeting in St. Louis Park earlier this month. “College students rely on same-day registration because of our open election laws, which are designed to encourage participation in our democracy.”

Congressman Keith Ellison held the event at the Sabes Jewish Community Center to address the consequences, and who will be adversely affected, if the proposed Voter Photo ID constitutional amendment passes on the November ballot.

“The State of Minnesota has a good faith agreement with our colleges and universities that a photo ID from that college or university will suffice to vote,” continued Erickson, who currently works on Ellison’s re-election campaign. “We would be creating a distinction between the state’s land grant university — the University of Minnesota — and everybody else (such as) students who go to Carleton, Macalester or St. Thomas. We would actually be creating a division between our college students. And college students are absolutely reliant on same-day registration in order to vote. Photo ID would do away with that forever.”

Erickson added that disenfranchising college students from voting would make them less likely to vote in the future.

“Youth and college voters, their experiences in voting leaves an indelible impact on them for the rest of their lives. If you vote when you’re young, if you vote when you’re a college student, you’re very likely to become someone who participates in the democratic process for the rest of your life.”

See related stories about whom else the Voter Restriction Amendment would adversely affect:

• 
MN Voter Restriction Amendment would cause headaches for election judges

• Voting Rights should have been resolved during Civil Rights era

Voter ID dissuades rural poor from voting, says Mexican-American

• Voter Photo ID “a huge step backwards” for voting rights of disabled Minnesotans

• Iraq war vet sees voting rights under fire at home

Jacob Wheeler

In addition to shooting videos for The UpTake, Jacob Wheeler is a contributing editor at the progressive political magazine In These Times, publishes the Glen Arbor Sun in his native Michigan, and authored "Between Light and Shadow," a recent book about the Guatemalan adoption industry. Wheeler's stories have appeared in such magazines as the Utne Reader, Earth Island Journal, Rotarian and Teaching Tolerance magazine, and newspapers including the San Francisco Chronicle and Christian Science Monitor. He speaks fluent Spanish, German and Danish.

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