Our View: Are you afraid of student voters?

DKS Editors

If you only know one thing about the Republican Party’s political positions, it’s probably the firm opposition to raising taxes. So any time a Republican legislator actually proposes raising taxes, it’s wise to look for possible ulterior motives.

For example, in the North Carolina State Senate, Republican Bill Cook sponsored a bill that would raise taxes on parents of college students if the student registers to vote using his or her college mailing address instead of their permanent address.

Here’s the official wording in the bill: “If the voter is a dependent of the voter’s parent or legal guardian, is 18 years of age or older and the voter has registered at an address other than that of the parent or legal guardian, the parent or legal guardian will not be allowed to claim the voter as a dependent for state income tax purposes.”

Of course, students are typically on campus to attend classes on Election Day. So this bill is basically a threat to North Carolina college students — don’t vote, or else we’ll raise your parents’ taxes — even if that wasn’t the intended consequence.

But what else could the intended consequence possibly be? Does Cook think that parents of college students aren’t paying their fair share to the government? Are the tens of thousands of dollars to a public university for an important college degree not enough?

The true motive of the bill is evident in its endorsement by the conservative-leaning North Carolina Voter Integrity Project, which openly complains that student votes can decide the outcome of an election in favor of liberal candidates, though that shouldn’t be a big deal since our votes are just as valid as everyone else’s.

“College students can be manipulated like pawns,” said Jay DeLancy of the Voter Integrity Project. “These bills will protect students from such abuse.”

This brazen disrespect of student voters contradicts the national GOP’s new outreach project, which urges that “young voters need to be attracted to the Republican Party” if it wants to remain viable. Instead of attracting young voters, this bill takes a different approach: stopping them from voting altogether.

Besides, the Supreme Court ruled in 1979 that students have the right to register and vote from school. Cook needs to stop wasting his time in the state Senate on this discriminatory legislation, since the courts will clearly rule it unconstitutional.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.