Corey Harnish: A sly poll tax

April 8, 2013 

A sly poll tax

I fall into the under-30 voter bracket commonly pegged as “the youth vote.” Because we typically vote for Democrats, our most basic freedom – the right to vote – is going to be obstructed here in North Carolina.

Republican State Sen. Bill Cook wants to disenfranchise “the youth vote” with a bill that links students’ voter registrations to their parents’ taxes. If a student registers to vote using a university address, the parents back home can no longer claim the student as a dependent on their state tax return, despite the fact that most students living on-campus don’t support themselves. Essentially parents would have to pay more in taxes as a punishment because their son or daughter decided to exercise a right to vote. It’s a clever poll tax, and it’s unconstitutional.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1979 that college students have the right to register and vote where they go to school. This allows students to vote at nearby polling locations while attending school. To take money away from N.C. families based on voting is un-American. Why would the party that believes in less taxes and small government go out of its way to hurt N.C. families? Don’t allow our elected officials to enact a sly poll tax.

Corey Harnish, Winston-Salem

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service