If you’re a student planning on voting in the 2018 Midterm elections, you’re going to want to pay attention to what’s going on in NH’s legislature. Republican Brian Stone, Representative of District Rockingham 1, is trying to push a bill that would increase voter restrictions for the state of NH, and it directly affects out of state students attending college here.

Stone is the main sponsor of the bill that would remove the ability for students to declare New Hampshire as their domicile for voting and not register as a bona fide resident.

As stated by Fosters.com, the bill would require out-of-state students to show that he/she “intends to make this state his or her home for the time being.” With NH’s midterm election day set for Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018 and Keene State College students having a busy schedule, it’s a good idea to be aware of the voting opportunities, and even more so to be aware of the candidates you’ll be voting for.

New Hampshire doesn’t have any Senate seats up for grabs. Both Representative seats are being either replaced or allowing Democratic Representatives Carol Shea-Porter (District 1) and Ann McLane Kuster (District 2) to reclaim their spots.

Alongside this, large topics like Net Neutrality, Immigration, Gun Control, Tax Reform and Healthcare are all stealing the spotlight in both Congress and Trump’s Administration, therefore it’s safe to say that the 2018 Midterm election will be a huge deciding factor for how our country moves forward these next few years.

And this bill could make it more difficult for the Democrats to take the hill if less people are able to vote, thus granting Trump and the GOP more opportunity to push their agenda.

Considering this legislation heavily affects more than just college students, the Democratic party’s claim that Republicans are attempting to restrict certain groups from voting seems to hold up. The GOP’s refute being the recent controversy with the 2016 Presidential Election in terms of voter fraud, requires more identification requirements in order to restore confidence in the voting system. This debate between parties isn’t a new one, both have been pushing their own agenda on the voting requirements. The Republicans calling for more identification and restrictions while the Democrats advocate for looser conditions in the hope that voting numbers would go above the 58 percent we saw in the 2016 Presidential Election. Although the question is raised; will this bill genuinely lower the number of voters throughout the US?

In the NH election it obviously would be lower, but citizens of the US are still able to vote for their home state’s legislators later this year by applying for an “absentee ballot.” This ballot allows people to vote via mail, however, it is recommended that you request the option from your hometown 60 days prior to the election. This absentee ballot allows people to vote regardless of their position in the country, the only downside is it requires more effort on the voter’s part. So I ask you, in hopes the answer is yes: Will you be voting in the 2018 Midterm Elections?

Taylor Beaven can be contacted at tbeaven@kscequinox.com

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