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N.H. college kids decry new rules restricting their voting

The potentially pivotal New Hampshire primary is still 10 months away, but there's already anxiety about Democratic disenfranchisement.

Why? "Because the Republicans passed legislation to make it so that college students couldn't vote without paying a poll tax," Garrett Muscatel, a 20-year old Dartmouth student who's also a Democratic state representative, explained to the Daily Beast.

In the past, prospective voters needed only to prove they were living in New Hampshire to be eligible, one of the loosest residency requirements in the country. But last year GOP Gov. Chris Sununu, saying his aim was to tamp down on potential voter fraud, signed a bill requiring voters to have a state driver's license (which costs $50) and to register their vehicles in New Hampshire (another $300) or else face a misdemeanor charge.

At least eight Democratic candidates for president, all of whom are hoping to win the nomination with the help of an energized youth turnout, have condemned the statute. "Students are the ones who will have to deal with the decisions lawmakers make for decades to come," Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey tweeted. "Protecting their right to vote is paramount."

College students, who are mostly from out of state, account for roughly 90,000 of the state's 1.2 million residents. (Even at the University of New Hampshire only half the students come from the state.)

Bills to repeal the new residency rules, or carve out an exception for college students, are moving in the Democratic controlled legislature, but not with enough support to withstand a potential veto. The state Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the law last year, but some Dartmouth students are now suing in federal court.

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Open Government
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FEC Chairwoman Ellen Weintraub

The struggle is real: FEC stalled on regulations for online political ads

The Federal Election Commission has once again punted on establishing rules for identifying who is sponsoring online political advertisements. Thursday marked the fourth consecutive meeting in which the topic fell to the wayside without a clear path forward.

FEC Chairwoman Ellen Weintraub revived debate on the topic in June when she introduced a proposal on how to regulate online political ads. In her proposal, she said the growing threat of misinformation meant that requiring transparency for political ads was "a small but necessary step."

Vice Chairman Matthew Petersen and Commissioner Caroline Hunter put forth their own proposal soon after Weintraub, but the commissioners have failed to find any middle ground. At Thursday's meeting, a decision on the agenda item was pushed off to a later date.

Weintraub's proposal says the funding source should be clearly visible on the face of the ad, with some allowance for abbreviations. But Petersen and Hunter want to allow more flexibility for tiny ads that cannot accommodate these disclaimers due to space.

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Open Government
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California's Supreme Court is expediting President Trump's challenge to a new state law that would require him to release five years of tax returns in order to get on the state ballot for the 2020 election.

California court expedites Trump challenge to new tax returns requirement

The California Supreme Court is fast-tracking its review of a challenge to a new law that would require President Trump to make public his tax returns in order to get on the state's ballot for the 2020 election.

A lawsuit seeking to block implementation of the law was filed August 6 by the California Republican Party against Secretary of State Alex Padilla. It claims the law violates California's constitution.

Two other challenges, one filed by Trump's personal lawyers, are pending in federal court.

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