The North Carolina GOP, fresh off its victories in the last election giving it the governor's mansion and a supermajority in both houses, is proposing a bill that would tax the parents if their college student child registers to vote at their college campus instead of in their hometown.
In 2008, Barack Obama made his last campaign stop in North Carolina, rightly judging that a strong college student turnout would put him over the top in that state. He stopped at the University of North Carolina/Charlotte, where 25,000 people attended his speech. Obama won North Carolina that year by 14,000 votes in an election in which the youth turned out in much heavier numbers than they did in previous elections. It also gave North Carolina a Democratic governor.
However, the North Carolina GOP took back over in 2012. Now, they are proposing a bill that would curb college students from voting. In 1979, the courts ruled that students had the right to register to vote at their college campus. However, lawmakers are working around it by assessing a tax penalty for parents whose students register to vote at the college campus. This is sponsored by five GOP senators, including one from the leadership. This is a move that Rachel Maddow calls, "Amazeballs."
Not only would they do away with college students voting, they would limit early voting to one location per county and stop same-day registrations, both of which are used much more by Democrats than Republicans. Maddow notes that this was also tried in Indiana, but that it failed after a public outcry.
First of all, there is the obvious Constitutional problem of the 24th Amendment:
And secondly of all, there is the obvious question of what would happen if out of state parents whose children went to North Carolina were to register to vote there. Would someone in Missouri, say, have to pay taxes to North Carolina if their child were to register to vote there? And what would happen if a child doesn't have parents?
The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or
other election for President or Vice President, for electors for
President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in
Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any
state by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.
I guess that we have finally found a tax that certain Republicans like.