Tucker Carlson is concerned that some states are allowing 17 year olds to pre-register to vote and participate in party primaries if they will be 18 on election day. His argument is that 17 year olds are too immature to successfully order food at a restaurant, so they must be too stupid for their political opinions to be worthy of consideration.

However, Campus Reform reporter Katherine Timpf reassured him that some young people are disappointed in Barack Obama’s presidency and might actually vote for Republicans. This is the crux of the matter. Republicans oppose voter participation by any group who they think will not support them, while Democrats support the broadest voter participation possible.

Perhaps Democrats wouldn’t be quite so pro-voting if it worked against them, but I can’t imagine the Democrats arguing that their goal is to suppress certain voting groups. The Republicans do tend to couch their opposition to voting in terms of voter fraud in order to disguise their true intent, but they are often quite explicit about their desire to keep black turnout down, or to prevent college students from participating. There are groups that vote reliably Republican, but you never hear any talk from Democrats about suppressing their votes.

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Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at ProgressPond.com