As the country prepares for the 2024 election cycle, youth voting rights advocates say conservatives are pushing voter suppression efforts to stifle and silence college students across the country. Young voters have proven to be politically influential demographics, turning out in record numbers in recent elections, but voter suppression laws are discouraging young people from voting and creating obstacles to getting registered.
Aylon Gipson, a rising senior at Morehouse College in Atlanta and a fellow with the Campus Vote Project, says seven out of 10 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in Georgia are particularly disenfranchised. A state law in Georgia currently prevents private school students from using their student IDs to vote, even though public school student IDs are accepted. The laws surrounding student IDs as acceptable forms of identification for voting vary across the states.
“That’s a huge barrier,” Gipson said. “[It makes private school students] jump through additional hoops in order to vote. That … creates confusion among voters who may not realize that their ID won’t be accepted at the polls or accepted as a form of identification, simply because they attend a private school.”