When young Americans predictably don’t turn out to vote for President Barack Obama this November the way they did in 2008, liberals will undoubtedly blame Republican supported Voter ID laws for “suppressing” the youth vote.
In reality, President Obama’s bad economic policies – which have kept the youth unemployment rate above 12 percent throughout the summer - will be responsible for youth apathy in 2012.
At a conference for progressive students held in Washington, D.C. on July 26, a spokesperson for the liberal Brennan Center for Justice claimed that Republicans were specifically trying to “screw over students” with new state laws that require would be voters to provide proof of their identity in order to vote.
Claims that Voter ID laws will disenfranchise young people are both inaccurate and derogatory.
Among the states liberals claim are trying to keep students – who tend to lean left – from voting is my home state, Kansas. As I previously pointed out, even Kansas designates student IDs as a valid form of identification for the purposes of voting. Thus claims that Republicans are ‘out to get students’ with voter protection laws are clearly not based on facts.
Another common argument from the Left is that Voter ID laws will negatively affect young people because they are less likely to have valid photo IDs. As a recent college graduate I find this argument most humorous. I have never met a college student who does not have a valid photo ID.
Not once in college did a friend say to me, “Sorry, I can’t go with you to the bar tonight because I don’t have a photo ID.” In fact, upon turning 21, obtaining a government issued ID was the first thing my friends and I did.
I recognize that many students are under the age of 21. However, if college students are willing to rush down the to DMV to get an ID in order to drink, they’re capable of obtaining one in order to vote.
As former Democratic Rep. Artur Davis (who recently became a Republican) pointed out on a Voter ID panel at the Heritage Foundation:
Remember four years ago we were told about the young people in this country, and we were told they were so ‘Fired Up’ and so enthusiastic and so energized, we were told they were lead to believe in a way that they had never been lead to believe before. Now four short years later, we’re told that those same motivated go-getters - who were ready to take over the world - can’t be bothered with getting an ID?
Low turnout among young people in 2012 for President Barack Obama will have everything to do with young peoples’ lack of motivation, but not their lack of motivation to obtain a photo ID. Rather, recent college grads likely won’t be convinced to come out and vote yet again for a candidate who more or less tricked them into thinking that, ‘If you vote for me, all of your wildest dreams will come true.’
If Obama loses support among young people in 2012, don’t blame Republican efforts to ensure the integrity of our election processes for “suppressing” young American’s right to vote. Blame the candidate who didn’t deliver on his promises of hope and change.