Our View | Campus voting is important to students

The right to exercise the 26th Amendment, the right to vote, is given in America at age 18. The new experience of voting is promoted with voter drives, calls from voter phone banks and handouts. Recently, a bill introduced Iowa Sen. Robbie Smith (R) has advanced in the Iowa Senate that if passed, would be discriminatory to elders, people with disabilities  and students at public universities. This bill was introduced to promote uniformity throughout Iowa’s voting system. The first thing that the bill would prohibit is permitting signature verification on absentee ballots. At a time where students’ signatures are developing and changing, as well as elders and others who may have disabilities and difficulty writing, this makes voting one step harder than it needs to be.  Along with the extra step added to absentee ballots, the bill requires that public universities can no longer have satellite voting on state-owned properties. Schools like Iowa State, University of Northern Iowa and University of Iowa would not be able to allow voting on campus, while private schools are excused from this rule.  Although this bill has been advanced with claims for consistency, it does not make student voting consistent with public universities and private universities being treated differently. When students graduate, they would also have to fill out a form if they are moving out of the state of Iowa. If they say they are leaving the state after college, their voting registration gets cancelled without their say.  What if they then decide not to leave Iowa? This puts another barrier to students’ right to vote.  This bill, if signed into law, will make voting more difficult for students who plan on going to a public university, elders and people with disabilities in the community. 

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