New Hampshire’s House Speaker, William O’Brien (R-Hillsborough 4), made a name for himself in cyberspace and among voting rights advocates earlier this year when he openly voiced that students in New Hampshire should not be able to vote in-state unless they had established permanent residency in their college towns. O’Brien also vocally supported a recent bill to limit students’ franchise by prohibiting election-day voter registration, a device many students rely upon in New Hampshire to be able to participate in New Hampshire elections. While attempting to justify the proposed bills, H.B. 176 and H.B. 223  respectively, by citing the importance of eliminating voter fraud, his statements were significantly undermined when he also alleged (in a video posted on YouTube) that students in New Hampshire are foolish and merely “vote their feelings.” O’Brien further secured his poor reputation (and the Bills’ fates) by declaring that college students on Election Day cancel out the votes of other, more invested voters, relying on a “dearth of experience and a plethora of the easy self-confidence that only ignorance and inexperience can produce.”

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