In a recent speech, New Hampshire state House speaker William O’Brien called student voters foolish and implied that they only vote liberal because they lack life experience
RE: In states, parties clash over voting laws that would affect college students, others by Peter Wallsten
I remember this coming up when I still lived at home–whether college students should vote in their legal residence or where they attended college. More broadly, how much of a role should a largely transient population play in local governance?
The term “transient” population is particularly interesting case here. As usual, I have more questions than answers:
- Does the college town want to keep its graduates?
- Would letting students vote locally encourage them to feel at home – to feel engaged with and interested in the community?
- How long does someone need to stay somewhere before they are no longer considered “transient”?
- Where should a transient person vote?
- Why should students over the age of 18 be treated any differently from people with other occupations (such as contractors who will only be somewhere for 3-6 months)?
- Even if the specific individuals are being changed out every 4-8 years, shouldn’t the student body as a whole have some voice in local politics in proportion to its size/population?