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Arizona Lawmaker Wants To Stop College Students From Voting Where They Live

At a time when we’re hearing more about voter fraud and voter suppression, one Arizona lawmaker is weighing in with a provision that could make it more difficult for college students in the state to cast a vote.

Flagstaff Republican Rep. Bob Thorpe says students are often really only part-time residents of their college’s city or town and should be voting based on their parents’ address.

Howie Fischer of Capitol Media Services has covered the story and joins us for a few minutes.

The proposal by Thorpe would not allow students to use their college address to vote. The measure would not only apply to those who live in dorms, but also to those who have off-campus apartments or houses.

Thorpe contends the students who vote in elections, including his own, are part-time residents. Thorpe introduced a similar measure earlier this year, but it died when Republican Rep. Doug Coleman refused to give it a hearing.

"Just the basic premise of the bill actually saying that they couldn't choose where their residence was, even if it was where they're living, I had issues with," Coleman said.

Coleman was not in the minority. Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan is also wary of Thorpe’s proposal, saying her office is committed to making it easier for students to vote.

Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.