A Republican lawmaker in Indiana is pushing a bill that would ban students who pay out-of-state tuition from registering to vote where they go to college. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1979 that students have the right to do that, but an Indiana House committee debated the bill yesterday anyhow.
Check out this one account of how difficult it can be to qualify for in-state tuition -- and by extension, under this bill, the right to vote. From the Indianapolis Star:
The bar for getting in-state tuition can be very high, said Eddie VanBogaert. He was an Illinois resident who chose Purdue University. After four years as an undergraduate, paying out-of-state tuition, he stayed in West Lafayette, started a business and even got elected to the West Lafayette City Council -- and still had trouble convincing Purdue that he was eligible for in-state tuition for graduate school.
"I had to provide just a wild amount of (documents,)" VanBogaert said. "Leases, bank statements, W-2s, my car title, my driver's license, my business license. I even had the clerk-treasurer of West Lafayette write me a note."
That level of documentation, far more than other voters need to produce to register "shouldn't be the standard for fundamental voting rights," he said.
Indy Star reporter Mary Beth Schneider tweeted from the hearing yesterday that the bill's sponsor didn't realize that private colleges don't charge out-of-state tuition and said she would work on fixing that part of the bill. The sponsor also intends to amend the bill to make it constitutional -- which, given that its fundamental premise is unconstitutional, will be something to see.
(AP image: Lining up to vote at Purdue in November. Forty-two percent of Purdue students could not vote there under the new bill.)