Arizona State Rep. Bob Thorpe believes that college students “dilute” elections in districts where they both attend school and live. Thorpe’s proposal would disallow students to use their college addresses when registering to vote, even if they live there year-round.
“These students do not influence the elections within their home communities, where their families and neighbors live, but instead they dilute the votes of the local full-time residents within the college communities,” Thorpe told Courthouse News in a statement.
Thorpe introduced a similar bill previously, but fellow Republican Rep. Doug Coleman refused to give it a hearing in the state’s House Government Committee.
“Just the basic premise of the bill of actually saying that they couldn’t choose where their residence was, even if it was where they were living, I had issues with,” Coleman told Arizona’s Capitol Media Services in January.
This original bill would have amended Arizona’s voter registration rules, requiring voters to have a physical address in the state, along with “an intent to remain” at the address.
“A dormitory address or other temporary college or university address may not be used for determining residency … and is deemed to be evidence of a temporary address with intent to return to some other permanent address,” the bill specified.