Jim Sciutto Accuses GOP of 'Deliberately' Trying 'to Restrict the Vote'

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CNN claims to hate conspiracy theories, unless of course they are the ones peddling them. Such was the case on Tuesday where, as New Hampshire Democrats went to the polls CNN Newsroom, co-host Jim Sciutto accused Republicans of "deliberately" trying "to restrict the vote."

Sciutto and fellow co-host Poppy Harlow were joined by two college students — Davis Bernstein, student body president Keene State College and Jennifer West, an executive member of the board of Dartmouth Democrats — to discuss New Hampshire's voting laws, which allegedly discriminate against college voters.

 

 

Harlow began by mispresenting the law in question, asking West what effects it will have on turnout, "I'm not sure most of America know what changed in New Hampshire for college voters this July, and that is a law that essentially makes them prove not just domicile but residency, go get a new driver's license, et cetera. I understand there is a challenge to that in court, but it is in effect today, right? Help us understand what it actually means for turnout."

What the law actually says is that registering to vote in New Hampshire triggers residency requirements, meaning if you are an out-of-stater you have to change your license and vehicle registration. Republicans had argued, that given New Hampshire's small population, non-permanent residents were affecting the outcome of elections.

West claimed that although there was some confusion, ultimately conceded that, "the messaging so far has been that students are allowed to vote in New Hampshire, not only can they, they should vote here," but Sciutto ignored this concession.

He promptly declared, "Listen, voter access, legislation is a national issue now, pushed in many places by Republican lawmakers to deliberately to restrict the vote." He then asked Bernstein to confirm his conspiracy theory, "from your perspective, as a young person in this country, I imagine excited to vote in your first election, are you, your group, other students concerned that this is a deliberate attempt to tamp down voting by college aged students?"

Bernstein obliged, "It really seems like it’s a disinformation campaign -- making it seem like college students should just stay home and sit this election out. So it is an issue, but we're trying to combat it as much as we can."  

Here is a transcript for the February 11 show:

CNN

CNN Newsroom with Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto

10:20 AM ET

POPPY HARLOW: I'm not sure most of America know what changed in New Hampshire for college voters this July, and that is a law that essentially makes them prove not just domicile but residency, go get a new driver's license, et cetera. I understand there is a challenge to that in court, but it is in effect today, right? Help us understand what it actually means for turnout. 

JENNIFER WEST: Absolutely. So, this law is currently in effect, however, the implementation of it has been very mixed and confusing. In fact, the New Hampshire College Democrats sent a petition to Secretary of State Bill Gardener asking him to clarify exactly what this means for us, many college students don't have a New Hampshire driver's license, many of us don't have a car, it would be very difficult for us to get to the nearest DMV and the town clerks have been going based on that interpretation, which is that students can vote as they regularly would, so it has been very confusing, but the messaging so far has been that students are allowed to vote in New Hampshire, not only can they, they should vote here. 

JIM SCIUTTO: Listen, voter access, legislation is a national issue now, pushed in many places by Republican lawmakers to deliberately to restrict the vote. Davis, from your perspective, as a young person in this country, I imagine excited to vote in your first election, are you, your group, other students concerned that this is a deliberate attempt to tamp down voting by college aged students? 

DAVIS BERNSTEIN: Yeah, we absolutely are. The laws in the first place are an issue. But since we don't even know how they're being enforced, many facets of the government don’t even know how they’re going to enforce it, it really seems like it’s a disinformation campaign -- making it seem like college students should just stay home and sit this election out. So it is an issue, but we're trying to combat it as much as we can. 

 

 

 
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