As ThinkProgress has been reporting, the slew of unnecessary voter ID laws passed by Republicans in many states this year are a transparent attempt to disenfranchise core Democratic voters, especially college students, the poor and minorities. But Republicans usually claim these laws are passed for the sake of curbing nonexistent voter fraud — it’s rare to have one admit their intention is to stop Democrats from getting to the polls.
But that’s exactly what New Hampshire Speaker William O’Brien (R) told a Tea Party crowd recently. As the new laws are already stifling students’ efforts to participate politically, O’Brien confessed that he wanted to make it more difficult for students to vote because they “vote their feelings” — i.e. vote as liberals:
A New Hampshire measure that ultimately failed earlier this year stoked Democratic concerns about the law’s true intentions. The law would have ended same-day registration and prohibited most college students from voting from their school addresses.
New Hampshire House Speaker William O’Brien, a Republican, told a tea party group that allowing people to register and vote on Election Day led to “the kids coming out of the schools and basically doing what I did when I was a kid, which is voting as a liberal. That’s what kids do — they don’t have life experience, and they just vote their feelings.”
New Hampshire’s voter ID bill failed to pass, but illegal signs nevertheless appeared on the door of a polling station in O’Brien’s own district, demanding that voters show ID before they could vote.
Under many state’s voter ID laws, student IDs and even government-issued veterans identification cards are unacceptable for use at polling stations.