The republican have a problem: They’re really a minority party, and if every eligible voter gets to vote and their votes get counted, they lose. That’s why they lost the popular vote in 6 of the last 7 presidential elections. But they’ve managed to gerrymander congress and take advantage of the senates disproportional representation to control both houses despite getting less votes than the democrats.
Case in point: College campuses, especially in rural areas. Here in western Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District we’ve got a bunch of them, and they’re often islands of democratic voters in a sea of red. Let’s focus in on Morris, where a University of Minnesota campus is pretty much half the town. Long ago the city wisely set up one of their polling places on campus, and turnout was great.
Again, democrats voting is a problem for republicans, so the chief election official of this red county told the city of Morris that they had too many polling places and should close some. Said election official even said that less people would be voting in the future… Not sure if she was proposing to speed the depopulation of this rural county or disenfranchise more voters. The city went along with the plan and cancelled the campus polling place.
While we old timers show up at the polls when they open, young college students aren’t usually so dedicated. Put the polling place where they’ll have to walk by it anyway and they’ll probably find time by poll closing to vote. But they moved the polling place to a National Guard Armory on the northern outskirts of town, up to a mile away from campus. This being the flat prairies with bare fields after the corn has been picked, there ain’t much to block November’s arctic blasts on that mile walk to the polls. And walking will be most students only option, given that the many students don’t have cars and the tiny transit system’s scheduled service doesn’t go to the new polling place and keeps banker’s hours.
And did I mention that 20% of the students are Native Americans…