Heated debate as gone on over state laws which some consider to be ways to combat voting fraud, and others believe hamper the youth vote. This of course isn't new to voting in the United States. Limitations of student IDs, the restriction of polling locations on or near college campuses, and the classic gerrymandering have been called into question. What are considered to be the main battle ground states over these issues are Wisconsin, Florida and New Hampshire.
Two years after the 2016 Presidential election, New Hampshire Republicans moved to pass a law requiring voters to comply with residency requirements such as getting a New Hampshire driver's license and vehicle registration. Voting rights advocates argue that such a law would weaken the electoral might of young voters, which is an increasingly left-leaning voting bloc.
Yet proponents of the law argue that it was intended to combat fraud in the state. At the time NH was the only state that didn't require voters to be legal residents.
“We have a group of people who say, ‘This is where I live, but don’t have to register my car here. I don’t have to get my license like everyone else in this room has to do,’ ” said Sharon Carson, a Republican senator from Londonderry, N.H., during debate on the measure. “And yet we allow them to vote here.”
Opponents such as the ACLU claimed that such requirements were essentially a poll tax:
"Residents who move to New Hampshire are required to switch over their driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations within 60 days. The penalty for not doing so can reach $1,000. The cost of a new license is $50 and vehicle registration can cost hundreds of dollars, depending on the car, according to the state Department of Motor Vehicles."
One of the reasons why New Hampshire is considered to be such a pivotal battleground over the youth vote is because of higher voting turnout rates for ages 18 to 29, and how that affects narrow electoral margins.
The 2018 midterm elections saw a turn out rate for college-age students which was a little more than half that of voters overall. Such an upswing added two percentage points to the popular vote for Dems during the midterms. Ten Democratic seats were won by less than two points.
"In 2016, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton won the state by fewer than 3,000 votes, or three-tenths of a percentage point. Democrat Maggie Hassan unseated Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) with a victory margin of just 1,017 votes."
It was argued by state Republicans that college students from out of state had swayed the outcome.
The new law hasn't been implemented yet due to lawsuits made by the opposition. Yet, if a repeal of the law is implemented, New Hampshire's governor has said he would veto it.
Since the data cannot be ignored regarding the increasing electoral power of the youth vote, and how that affected elections in the past for New Hampshire, how could this impact such a swing state? Are there similar examples from other states we could look at to draw some conclusions?