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State Transportation Budget Could Limit Voting For College Students

vote election voters
Flickr/Creative Commons

Some Democratic state lawmakers say they might vote against the proposed transportation budget because of a provision that could restrict voting rights. The plan would make it more difficult for some college students to vote in Ohio.

The provision in the budget says, to vote in Ohio, you have to register your car here, if you have one, and get an Ohio driver’s license. Democrats say it is intimidation of college students and a violation of the federal voting rights act. But John Fortney with the Senate Republicans says it merely lays down residency requirements for all Ohioans, not just college students, and it’s not intimidation as Democrats claim.

“They are just not being honest with Ohioans. This is strictly a residency issue,” he said.

But Democrat Kathleen Clyde disagrees.

“If this was about residency, let’s give these students in state tuition,” she said.

In-state tuition would allow out of state students to attend college in Ohio at a greatly reduced rate. But Clyde says lawmakers are not proposing that as part of this plan. Democrats say they may vote against the transportation budget if the provision isn’t removed.