Be aware that in their great wisdom Iowa Republican legislators have worked to bury deep within a voter-restricting bill, House File 692, yet another way to defy democracy by requiring college students to make a statement that they will reside in Iowa after graduation … if they do not do so, their name will be removed from voter registration lists.
Elected officials should be trying to improve voter turnout — as the right to vote is essential to our democracy — instead of using intimidation techniques that will only serve to cause young people to avoid Iowa and its excellent schools. College years are a time to grow, take on adult responsibilities, and consider all the opportunities that education can provide for the future. This piece of legislation not only denies students their Constitutional right to vote, but lacks any guidance in helping young people to grow, to find their voice for local and national issues or to welcome their input on many topics that they may have the education and knowledge to offer. This bill invokes the question: What’s next? Maybe it will be a wall built around the state so those who study and spend their school dollars here, and pay taxes, increase our economic base, start families and add to our rich culture while they are here are forced to stay here.