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Editorial

The importance of allowing college students to vote in NH elections

From+left+to+right%3A+John+Kasich%2C+Jeb+Bush%2C+Marco+Rubio%2C+Donald+Trump%2C+Ted+Cruz%2C+Ben+Carson+and+Chris+Christie+on+stage+at+the+GOP+presidential+debate+held+at+Saint+Anselm+in+February+of+2016.
From left to right: John Kasich, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson and Chris Christie on stage at the GOP presidential debate held at Saint Anselm in February of 2016.

From left to right: John Kasich, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson and Chris Christie on stage at the GOP presidential debate held at Saint Anselm in February of 2016.

Flickr\Saint Anselm College

Flickr\Saint Anselm College

From left to right: John Kasich, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson and Chris Christie on stage at the GOP presidential debate held at Saint Anselm in February of 2016.

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One of the unique opportunities all Saint Anselm students have available to them is the ability to vote in the New Hampshire Presidential Primary, which is the first in the nation.

However, recently there has been a lot of talk among state lawmakers about changing New Hampshire’s voting laws, which could potentially lead to out-of-state college students being prohibited from claiming New Hampshire as their voting domicile.

As the law stands right now, New Hampshire college students are able to register at the polls on Election Day. The fear is that the same-day registration has caused voter fraud, which is an allegation President Donald Trump levied following his narrow defeat in New Hampshire to Hillary Clinton in the general election.

Trump claimed that residents from states like Massachusetts took advantage of the New Hampshire voting law by voting in both states in the same day, which is illegal.

Despite Trump’s claims, sufficient evidence has yet to be presented to back up the voter fraud allegations. The New Hampshire Secretary of State’s office has also yet to find concrete evidence of widespread voter fraud.

It is also worth noting that historically New Hampshire cities and towns have been careful in regards to maintaining the integrity of ballots. Until after Election Day 2016, there were no sweeping allegations of voter fraud in New Hampshire proposed by politicians at the state or national levels.

The Saint Anselm community has the privilege of being able to attend events featuring virtually every major United States presidential candidate. The college prides itself for providing students with opportunities to become engaged in the political arena, which is vital when it comes to deciding whom to vote for in any major election.

If the voting laws in New Hampshire were to be changed in a manner that would prohibit out-of-state college students from voting, then it would rob the majority of Saint Anselm students of the opportunity to participate in the first in the nation Presidential Primary.

Of course students would still have the opportunity to vote in their home states, however for many, their vote would not have the same impact. As primary season advances, presidential candidates drop out of the race depending on their popularity among voters.

This means that for students from states that hold their primaries or caucuses much later in the year, they may not have the opportunity to vote for the candidate they support the most.

There are also perhaps some benefits to New Hampshire for allowing college students to vote. If out-of-state students are allowed to vote for New Hampshire political offices, then they might be more likely to stay in the state after graduation. With New Hampshire’s population becoming older as younger people continue to move to other states, one could suggest that discouraging college students to vote here could make this problem even worse.

It is necessary that New Hampshire find ways to attract college aged people to become full time residents. Allowing out-of-state college students to vote in New Hampshire could be a good way to welcome them into the state.

Beyond that, college students are temporary residents. They have an economic impact, and in the time they are living in New Hampshire, the state government affects them as much as full-time residents.

New Hampshire is one of the few states that allow college students from other states to vote in elections. Saint Anselm College is unique because it is one of the few colleges in the country that hosts every major United States presidential candidate as well as other political figures at various functions. A change to state voting laws that prohibits college students from voting in New Hampshire would negatively affect Saint Anselm students’ involvement in the political arena.

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One Response to “Editorial”

  1. John Burns on April 1st, 2017 1:29 pm

    The media ignores the reality of voter fraud because the consciously turn their backs on evidence provided by Project Veritas and others; the evidence doesn’t fit their narrative. Hopefully, the NH Legislature will close this gaping loophole!

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