Hillary: Bashing the Youth Vote
In a jab at Obama’s efforts to encourage out-of-state students who attend college in Iowa to caucus, [Hillary] Clinton said the caucuses are only for people who live in this state.
“This is a process for Iowans. This needs to be all about Iowa, and people who live here, people who pay taxes here,” she told the Clear Lake crowd.
It pisses me off not because she’s dissing my vote (the MI primary/caucus monstrosity, that big contest for delegates that have been taken away, has been pretty much called for Hillary already). It pisses me off because I’ve run the precinct organization for a county with two large universities (U Michigan and EMU). And I’m well aware of the way that HAVA laws in many states have affected college students’ ability to vote.
You see, in MI, you have to jump through flaming hoops to be able to vote absentee in your first election. So what happened in 2004 is that a bunch of MI college students who had first become eligible to vote just before or just after they left home to go to college at UM or EMU were faced with those flaming hoops as they contemplated voting for a Democratic President (remember how well Kerry did with the youth vote??). The best alternative to those flaming hoops we had to offer was massive voter registration drives on campus–basically re-registering the students where they lived so they could vote in person.
Even in 2006, I can remember a father and daughter who came to the polling station I was watching–you could tell she was absolutely thrilled to be able to vote. But she and dad had made two trips back and forth to Detroit, all evening long, to figure out where she could legally vote. Much as she was thrilled to be voting, she was damn near tears at facing the flaming hoops. And for students from further away, like Traverse City, driving back and forth just to be able to vote is not an option.
And Iowa is one of those places that is further away.
If there are any MI students in IA, caucusing in Iowa really is their best–and perhaps only–way of voting. But Hillary doesn’t think they should caucus because "this is a process for Iowans." (I guess if the Iowa caucus is a process exclusively for Iowans, then they won’t mind if someone else gets to go first next time around…?)
Moreover, what the fuck does Hillary think she’s doing by dissing the youth vote in the first place? If anything, we’re going to get even more of the youth vote than Kerry did in 2008. That is, if someone encourages them to vote and makes it easy as possible, so they acquire the habit at a young age. And why adopt a tactic the Republicans are using–trying to depress the youth vote with their stupid HAVA tricks?
I know you want to win in IA, Hillary, but beating up on a demographic Democrats are winning handily is not the way to do so.