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Harris: College Students To Be Paid To Register Voters

Holland McKinnie
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On Tuesday, Vice President Kamala Harris announced a new initiative allowing college students to be paid using federal work-study funds to register voters. The initiative is part of a broader strategy by the Biden administration, which claims to promote voter participation among students and enhance their engagement in civic activities.

According to Harris, this move is not just about promoting voter participation but also about engaging young leaders in the democratic process. She stated, “We have under the Federal Work-Study program now allow students to get paid through Federal Work-Study to register people and to be non-partisan poll workers.” However, the new policy raises questions about using taxpayer funds and the true non-partisan nature of such activities.

Harris also said on Tuesday that the federal government will soon “start emailing information on how to register to vote to everyone who enrolled in the ACA, the Affordable Care Act.” The ACA is the federal program, also known as Obamacare.


This year, the Biden administration will also mount voter registration drives on three the Juneteenth federal holiday; on August 6, the anniversary of the passage of the Voting Rights Act; and on September 24, National Voter Registration Day.

The administration’s efforts don’t stop there. In a push to expand voter registration, federal agencies have been roped in to disseminate voting information. From displaying signage at National Park entrances to sending out voter registration details through the Affordable Care Act, the administration is leveraging all possible avenues. These actions coincide with critical dates like the Juneteenth federal holiday and National Voter Registration Day, highlighting a concerted effort to mobilize voter turnout, particularly among young and potentially left-leaning demographics.

It’s no secret that young voters played a significant role in the 2020 election, with Joe Biden garnering substantial support from the 18-29 age group. As the 2024 election approaches, the administration’s focus on this demographic has become increasingly apparent. Yet, this strategic mobilization raises concerns among critics who question whether taxpayer dollars should be used in what is little more than a thinly veiled partisan push for voter registration.

Furthermore, the backdrop of this initiative is the ongoing debate over voting rights and election integrity. Harris condemned what she describes as “anti-voter laws” in states like Georgia and Texas, positioning the administration’s efforts as a countermeasure to these legislative actions. 


While promoting civic engagement is praiseworthy, blending federal taxpayer funds with partisan voter registration activities warrants a closer examination. As the Biden administration doubles down on its voter registration drive, questions linger about the implications for taxpayer funds, educational institutions’ autonomy, and the electoral process’s sanctity. 

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