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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Limiting college voters impedes progress

If you’re a college student that has been subjugated to the cruel assumption that you’re just “”one of those college kids going through that phase in your life,”” don’t give into the fallacies of older generations. Don’t allow those accusations to discredit your commitment to actually caring about the future of your place in society.

Let’s take a moment to introduce the man of the hour to college students throughout the nation, New Hampshire’s new Republican state House Speaker, William O’Brien. In the Washington Post on Tuesday, O’Brien said to a Tea Party group, “”Voting as a liberal. That’s what kids do.”” He added that students lack “”life experience,”” and “”they just vote their feelings.”” According to the same article, “”New Hampshire House Republicans are pushing for new laws that would prohibit many college students from voting in the state — and effectively keep some from voting at all.””

It’s an absolute slap in the face to that anyone would dare to question the ways in which younger voters are voting. I say this because the aura of extreme conservatism in Arizona is something the entire world knows about. It’s even a joke to many states. “”There they go with that ‘immigration talk’ again,”” they say. “”Why can’t they just send the Navy to secure the border?””

Oh yeah. Because that’s already been done. Looks like that worked out for Jon Kyl. But it’s OK, you pro-Kyl college students, because we have some other older men making some not-so-well-thought-out propositions to secure our nation’s identity.  

Taking these voting initiatives away from college students based on their “”liberalism”” is a tough claim to make in Arizona. Yeah, the voting numbers of college students are still lower than those of older residents of the state, but even so, it seems red always washes over blue.

According to a press release by the Arizona secretary of state, “”The Arizona Republican Party added more than 10,000 voters between the May 18 Special Election and the latest report, giving 1,119,389 active, registered members. Democratic registrations fell by about 500 voters, slipping to 1,001,256 active, registered voters.””

Consider it the existentialist in me, but this generation’s pursuit of finding how to live out their passions is at stake if voting rights continue to be attacked. We deserve the right to vote for the well being of what we, the next generation, find best for the diversity of our country. The ways in which we think about and discuss politics have been altered. We are now more exposed to more cultures, not always accepting, but still exposed.

If the younger generations’ beliefs are exposed through voting results, this should be acknowledged, not discriminated against.   

They say this is an attempt to avoid voting fraud. But if this were to happen in Arizona, the context would change dramatically. The constitutionality of voting would be considered a horrendous, direct attack on any individuals who have cared about the political atmosphere here. If you’re a conservative guffawing at my claim, hang out with someone fighting for human rights in this state and you’ll see the passion in trying to justify the preservation of cultures and to fight the depravation of education.

O’Brien also backs an initiative to refuse out-of-state students to vote. That ridicules our ability to analyze the context in which we live. Each and every one of us should pay attention to the places beyond University Boulevard and the bars down on Fourth Avenue. This is why we have Republicans in this country attempting to overthrow our voting rights: Because not all of us are ready to commit to vote for the sake of the community surrounding our campuses.

If they continue these outlandishly, radical, right-wing efforts to silence the voice of youth, what’s going to happen to this country when the younger generation, which was purposely disengaged by these tactics, takes over the Capitol? Age gaps have to be filled.  There should be a dialogue between us and generations who assume college students are all just a bunch of peace-loving liberals. Because if they think we all believe in holding hands in a circle singing next to campfires, they’ve got a lot coming to them. And it’s not votes in their favor.

— Elisa Meza is a junior studying English. She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.  

  

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