Democracy still safe in the Dorms

by Marc Tomik // Published June 11, 2007
In the midst of 2007, over 40 years after the Voting Rights Act, and 25 years after the 26th Amendment, who would have thought attacks on voting rights could still occur?

Most attention on youth voting today is focused on how we can increase young voter turnout. With great strides being made in the past election it can be easy to overlook attempts to restrict young voters.

But in the far northern reaches of New England, a bill threatened to restrict the voting rights of young voters by prohibiting their ability to claim residency through an address in a residence hall. With many GOTV drives and voter registration drives made on college campuses, this bill would have had devastating effects on encouraging young voters.

The bill did not go through without a fight as local students made their voices heard (but their laughter silenced) in the Maine State House.

Thankfully the House of Representatives in Maine killed the bill, making a strong statement that youth voting shall not be silenced. Had the bill passed, it would have been a dangerous precedent for localities and states that wanted to hush young voters.