Letter: You cannot silence us: A response to limiting the college vote


Katy Klopfenstein/Iowa State Daily

Voting booths in Maple Hall during the 2015 election.

Katie Steigleder

I have now voted twice at two different state institutions in the state of Iowa. Had I not had the access to, I likely would not have voted.

Most students take an average of 15 credits (or more), work a part time (or even full time) job, and in their free time, study, eat, sleep, and then repeat it all over again. Some students are from the very far corners of the state, driving up to five hours to return to their home counties. Some are post-traditional and commute every day to their campus while working, having children and families, etc. Having early access to vote, satellite-voting areas on campus, and legislators who advocate for the votes of our state university attendees is important.

I woke up to the news published on March 7 by the Des Moines Register of some state legislators trying to limit the voting process for public universities in Iowa. There are approximately 35,000 students at Iowa State University, 25,000 at University of Iowa, and 10,000 at the University of Northern Iowa. That is roughly 70,000 students with the power to vote and create change in the state of Iowa.

Limiting these students’ access adds to the challenges students already face in American higher education. Vehicle access, time, location all influence how and if students vote.

Whatever political party you align with, you should feel encouraged to share your view, vote for your preferred candidate, and have the access to do so!

People may think the stereotypical college student can figure out another way to vote or that maybe their vote altogether is not that important. However, I can tell you this: We will be entering the work force, communities, Iowa counties, and maybe even political offices soon. Silencing us will not be that easy.