Rightists deprive youth of voting rights

By Caleb T. Maupin

Cleveland F.I.S.T.

So many young people depend on financial aid to go to college. Many other young people depend on the tax benefits of being claimed as a dependent on their parents’ tax return. Recently, in attempts to stifle the voice of the young, voting officials have threatened to take these things away from young people if they dare to vote. Falsely claiming that students can only vote in the area where their parents reside, not where they attend college, these harsh threats were made to college students in Virginia and Colorado.

They were made because all data point to the fact that young people, who have so much at risk with the current financial system, are going to be voting strongly in favor of Barack Obama’s candidacy for president.

As universities are loaded with young people being politically active for the first time, registering people to vote, debating the issues and such, the strategy of the right-wing Republican Party has been to disenfranchise these young people. The rightists must believe it is impossible to win the support of youth.

Only time will tell whether 2008 is a repeat of 2000 and 2004. In 2000 Republicans targeted Black people for disenfranchisement. A false list of felons prevented thousands from voting in Florida, some of them even being dragged away from the polling places by police. It was clear in 2000 that a large majority of Black people would vote for the Democrat Al Gore and against George Bush.

In 2008, with harsh lying threats of losing financial aid, it looks as if the Republican Party aims to rob youth of what civil rights marchers fought and some died for, the right to vote. This right is again being threatened by the rules regarding student voting in some states.

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