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Making it easier for youth and military to vote a fine idea | READER COMMENTARY

A line of voters on Towson University campus, stretching from the entrance of the polling place to nearly Unitas Stadium, wait for the opportunity to cast their ballot on first day of early voting on Monday, Oct. 26, 2020. (Brian Krista/Baltimore Sun Media).
A line of voters on Towson University campus, stretching from the entrance of the polling place to nearly Unitas Stadium, wait for the opportunity to cast their ballot on first day of early voting on Monday, Oct. 26, 2020. (Brian Krista/Baltimore Sun Media). (Brian Krista/Baltimore Sun Media Group)

I’ve witnessed disengagement from the political process, especially from my college aged peers. My friends, who are mostly people of color, don’t feel that their voice is ever considered. I’m enthusiastic that the Student and Military Voter Empowerment Act, a bill that’s been introduced in the state legislature that will make voter registration easier for college students and members of the military, will help to reverse this withdrawal (”Maryland legislators, including one from Harford, file rights bills aimed at increasing student, military votes,” Jan. 8).

There is too much of a hassle in the voting process whether it is registration or when casting their vote. For example, the national turnout for voters under the age of 29 in 2020 was between 52% and 55% while the national turnout was 66.7%. The Voter Empowerment Act puts methods in place that encourage and make voting and registration easier for students and for military members.

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We need to tackle all the barriers that discourage Americans from voting and we especially need to do it now. As a young woman of color who has done work to register young voters, I’ve seen the way these hurdles contribute to low engagement. The Voter Empowerment Act is one of the many necessary steps to get to a democracy that we can be proud of, not one that leaves so many behind.

Lubna Azmi, Baltimore

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