Ahead of the 2024 presidential election, Republicans have already begun trying to find ways to suppress votes for the left. By once again using false claims of voter fraud, America’s youth, specifically those who are college students, are the current demographic being persecuted. In a recent Nashville GOP fundraising event, a presentation titled, “A Level Playing Field for 2024,” was given by lawyer and Republican political activist Cleta Mitchell, where calls to limit voting on college campuses were proproposed. In another effort to skew the vote towards the right, the GOP has exposed how it is threatened by education and the upcoming generations through their unjust targeting of college student voters.
In the presentation given, Mitchell criticized the way in which most college campuses conduct their in-person and early ballot voting. The main criticisms involved the ease in which students are able to vote. Preparing ballots early for mail-in voting, using student IDs as a form of identification and being able to vote at a location near dorms were cited as reasons why Mitchell and others felt that the process was oversimplified and allowed more votes for the left. Instead of working to make the right appeal more to college voters, the main objective seemed to be limiting and preventing these votes from even taking place, exposing a fear of those who are educated. They are actively denying the public a safe opportunity to participate in democracy.
In past months, the GOP has been active in persecuting education and trying to approve educational plans that favor their ideals. Through the banning of books labeled as “inappropriate” that often just feature content dealing with race and sexuality, the right is working to brainwash the next generation into believing what they want them to. A 2016 study by PEW Research Center found that highly educated adults, particularly those who have attended graduate school, are far more likely than those with less education to take predominantly liberal positions across a range of political values. The attacks on education are not to protect the youth, but rather to limit their freedom of critical thought and expression.
The rhetoric and ideas proposed at this event are harmful not only for the youth, but to other demographics that the right may want to target next. Instead of college voters, an ethnic group could be inserted and “blamed” for the reason why recent elections have favored Democrats. Leveling the playing field should mean providing more polling places and voter literacy so that each side has an equal chance at gaining support. Republicans, however, would rather resort to unethical voting tactics and blaming Democrats for submitting false votes. The matter of fact is, there is no proof of large scale voter fraud in the country and no one demographic is abusing the system. To help prevent these ideas from taking place, there needs to be legislative action to fight voter suppression and protect these vulnerable votes.