Can the point of view of college students change the world? In terms of voting rights in North Carolina, the answer could be a resounding “yes!” According to the New York Times, seven college students, in conjunction with the NAACP, the ACLU, the Justice Department and three voter-registration advocates, will make the argument that a North Carolina voting law requiring voters to show photo identification beginning in 2016 violates the 26th amendment.
Under this law, student identification cards will not be allowed to count as valid forms of identification, and in most cases, neither will out-of-state licenses. In addition, this law “eliminated a program in which teenagers filled out their voter-registration forms early and were automatically registered when they turned 18,” according to the New York Times. The law also forbade same-day registration and narrowed the period for early voting. Those challenging the law feel that it discriminates based on age, barring college students in particular from voting easily.
“This is the worst voter suppression law we have seen since the days of Jim Crow,"said Reverend William Barber, president of the North Carolina state conference of the NAACP, according to The Guardian. “It is a full-on assault on the voting rights of minorities.”
While the law inherently attempts to prevent voter fraud, Democratic leaders fear that it will instead deter young voters—who would perhaps vote Democrat—from registering and casting their votes. Republicans, on the other hand, see the current system as “ripe for abuse,” according to the New York Times.
What’s the verdict, collegiettes? Is this law discriminating against college students’ right to vote?