Representative Bob Thorpe (R-6) hopes to work with stakeholders on legislation that will address several problems with voting in Arizona’s college communities while ensuring that voting rights are preserved for all Arizona voters.
“Many students typically only reside part-time within college communities – most for only six months out of the year,” said Representative Thorpe. “In order to unfairly influence local elections, students are registered to vote locally, even though their permanent residence is elsewhere within Arizona or even outside of our state. These students do not influence the elections within their home communities, where their family and neighbors live, but instead they dilute the votes of the local full-time residents within the college communities.”
Thorpe wants the legislation to “prevent unfair influence in local elections and unethical voter recruitment efforts, and I hope to work together with the Secretary of State to find a solution to these serious problems.”
Among the options that Thorpe is considering is one that would require U.S. students from other states to register to vote in federal elections using the federal form. According to one expert, this option is preferred given past court decisions on voting rights.