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Like those classic songs say, "Sometimes you just don't what you have -- until it's gone" ...

Is there anything more fundamental to our democracy and country than the right to vote?  

Should we not protect and value this right, and work hard to ensure that all Americans ages 18 and older are able to participate without undue burden?

Young voter participation has been on the rise. We should be celebrating and continuing to advance the participation of our country's youngest voters.  Instead, as The Washington Post reports on its front page this morning, we are seeing a concerted state-by-state effort to construct new barriers and even reverse existing laws that created greater access.

It's a blatant attempt to make it harder for young people to vote. What kind of democracy is this?

How the War on Young Voters Is Deteriorating Our Democracy
Heather Smith, Executive Director, Rock the Vote -- March 7, 2011

Excellent Questions, Director Heather Smith -- What kind of democracy is this, indeed?

We should be celebrating and encouraging Voter participation -- NOT inventing reasons, installing more hurdles to make it harder -- as Conservatives often attempt to do.

They want to win -- no matter what.   Even if that means installing a faux Democracy.

In states, parties clash over voting laws that would affect college students, others
By Peter Wallsten, Washington Post Staff Writer -- March 8, 2011

New Hampshire's new Republican state House speaker is pretty clear about what he thinks of college kids and how they vote. They're "foolish," Speaker William O'Brien said in a recent speech to a tea party group.

"Voting as a liberal. That's what kids do," he added, his comments taped by a state Democratic Party staffer and posted on YouTube. Students lack "life experience," and "they just vote their feelings."

New Hampshire House Republicans are pushing for new laws that would prohibit many college students from voting in the state - and effectively keep some from voting at all.

I would like to ask Speaker O'Brien:  Do college kids 'lack the life experience' to go Fight and Die for their Country, in a foreign land?

Then those very same youthful Students, deserve the Right to Vote -- to have a say in whether or not such Wars should be fought, in the first place!

Are Students, NOT Citizens too?

Republican Use New Found Power to Limit Right to Vote
By Noah Kaplan, Amicus -- March 7, 2011
Harvard Civil Rights -- Civil Liberties Law Review

[...] Republicans in New Hampshire and elsewhere are trotting out the tired excuse of preventing fraud to support new bills that will curtail the ability of students, African-Americans, and other core Democratic groups from voting.  Just as the Republicans in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, and elsewhere are using the excuse of balancing budgets to attack the power of unions that support their Democratic opponents, these Republicans are using the same tactics that anti-(small-d) democratic forces around the world use to ensure their continuation in power.  Get in power, and then make sure that only your supporters show up to vote the next time around.

Nice tie-in there Noah, to those other GOP-Tea-Party Agenda items, to bust up the Unions, to make it harder for minorities to have an "equal voice".

What could be more democratic than workers organizing to gain dignity, to gain parity?  Than minorities getting involved to gain some true representation?

What could be more anti-democratic than trying to take those Rights away, by Executive Fiat -- if they could.

I found one good diary here on Daily Kos that went into the specifics of this disturbing Vote-Robbing news, as reported by Laura Clawson.  Here are some of the key facts as reported by her:

There are quite a few states where Republicans are trying to enact the "make it harder for Democratic-leaning groups to vote" part of their agenda:  up to 32 states, in fact. Mostly these measures would require photo ID to vote, a requirement that would disproportionately affect younger and African-American voters. [...]
New Hampshire Republicans hope to prevent students from voting
by Laura Clawson for Daily Kos --Mar 08, 2011 at 09:30 AM PST

Students across America, IF ever you needed a reason, to stand up and MAKE YOUR VOICES HEARD!

-- this is it.  (I heard something about National Student Walkout, this Friday afternoon , on the radio today.)

What could be more important to that entree into Adulthood, than actually having, than actually KEEPING, your Right to Vote ??

It matters.  It will be "your" world someday.

Best to have "a say" in how it's run NOW -- before it's too late, to make a difference.

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