Recently drafted legislation in Texas may be the key to stymieing Democrats’ exploitative use of taxpayer-funded colleges to run partisan get-out-the-vote operations.
Introduced in February by Republican Rep. Carrie Isaac, HB 2390 stipulates that counties “may not designate as a polling place a location on the campus of an institution of higher education located within the county.” If passed by the GOP-controlled legislature and signed by Gov. Greg Abbott, the law would take effect on Sept. 1.
In a February statement, Isaac cited school safety as the primary reason for introducing the measure, pointing to the 2017 stabbing death of a University of Texas student and the recent Uvalde school shooting as examples of why places of education should be off-limits for elections.
“As a mom with one child on a college campus, and one on a public school campus, I think about the safety of my sons and their classmates regularly,” Isaac said. “We must do everything we can to make our school campuses as safe as possible; they should not serve as a target-rich environment for those that wish to harm children. I have experienced firsthand the heightened emotions that often occur at polling locations and I will not wait for more violence to act.”
Isaac has also introduced separate legislation to prohibit public primary and secondary schools from operating as polling places for elections.
How the Left Uses Colleges to Benefit Democrats
While not the primary reason for its introduction, HB 2390 has the potential to curb Democrats’ efforts to employ college campuses as vehicles for conducting partisan get-out-the-vote campaigns.
As The Federalist previously reported, the Biden administration told public universities last year that they could begin using work-study funds — which are used to provide part-time campus jobs to help students with tuition costs — to pay students to “support voter registration activities.” While the Higher Education Act of 1965 requires colleges to “make a good faith effort” to make mail voter registration forms “widely available” to students, having taxpayers fund get-out-the-vote activities in this way had previously not been allowed.
The directive came in relation to President Joe Biden’s March 2021 executive order requiring federal agencies to interfere in state election processes. Despite legal efforts by government watchdog groups to uncover how federal departments intended to implement the order in the lead-up to the 2022 elections, the Biden administration has continued to conceal nearly all related documents.
It’s not just the federal government attempting to use universities to register likely-Democrat voters, however. Notable left-wing nonprofit groups are also engaging in similar activities on college campuses across the country.
One of these groups is Civic Nation, a nonprofit headed by Valerie Jarrett, a former senior adviser to President Barack Obama. According to its website, Civic Nation aims “to create a more inclusive, equitable America” through the use of multiple “national initiatives” that seek to “take on the biggest issues of our time,” such as “fighting for gender equity [and] racial justice.” Among the group’s initiatives is the “ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge,” which was established in 2016 to encourage colleges to increase voter participation among students. To date, nearly 1,000 universities across 50 states and the District of Columbia participate in the initiative.
While ALL IN claims to be nonpartisan, a deeper dive into the venture reveals a different story. Among the notable signs of the group’s left-wing partisanship is its parroting of Democrat Party talking points. Ahead of the 2022 midterms, for instance, ALL IN released a fact sheet asserting that “strict voter ID requirements” are “barriers” that make it more difficult for college students to vote.
ALL IN’s founding advisory board is also stacked with Democrat partisans, including former Clinton and Obama administration officials.
HB 2390 Should Become the Norm for All States
The notion that colleges act as a nonpartisan venue to conduct voter registration and host elections is simply untrue. During the 2022 midterms, young voters (18-29) broke for Democrat candidates over Republican ones by a nearly 2-to-1 margin.
While speaking with The Federalist, Hayden Ludwig, the director of policy research at Restoration of America, elaborated on how “there’s no such thing as ‘nonpartisan’ get-out-the-vote campaigns because voting is inherently political.”
“Leftists lie when they pretend that their get-out-the-vote machines are about helping everyone vote. In reality, Democratic operatives want to ensure that only their preferred voters cast a ballot, so each election cycle they spend a fortune juicing turnout in Democrat hotspots like college campuses,” Ludwig said. “The left wants college students, millennials, single women, and minorities to vote because they’re likely to support Democrats, so political nonprofits run biased campaigns to get these individuals on the voter rolls while ignoring likely Republican voters.”
Ludwig added that while he believes banning polling places from college campuses is a good start, he’d like to see lawmakers “go even further and ban nonprofits from running voter registration drives altogether so they can go back to genuine charity instead of politics.”
[READ: Report: Democrats Are Weaponizing Nonprofits To Run Partisan Voter Registration Drives]
Allowing polling places to operate on college campuses would essentially give Democrats home field advantage on Election Day. It’s the equivalent of setting up polling places at gun shows or evangelical churches to benefit Republicans. The Texas Legislature’s passage of HB 2390 would go a long way in restoring trust and integrity in our elections.