by Peter Wallsten

A Washington Post story Monday on GOP efforts to push new voting laws is getting a lot of attention, largely because of some controversial comments about college students by the new speaker of the New Hampshire state House. Speaker William O’Brien called college kids voting behavior “foolish” and ridiculed them for voting “liberal.” “That’s what kids do,” he said.

Here is the full video of his remarks, to a Rochester, N.H., tea party group, captured on video by a state Democratic Party staffer. His comments on voting start at about the 8:30 mark.

Here’s a full written statement released by O’Brien’s office to the Post:

“New Hampshire, unlike most states, allows for same day registration of voters. This coupled with a lax definition of residency creates an environment in which people may be claiming residency in multiple locations.  Thereforethere is need for a clear definition of residency that should apply to everyone.

 “The vast majority of people agree with the principle ‘one man, one vote.’ We encourage all individuals, regardless of age, to be part of the political process. However, any one person should only be able to claim residency in one location - that’s common sense.  We must protect the integrity of the ballot process. Our goal is to tighten the statute.

 “This is not an idea targeting any particular political party or ideology – it’s simply about getting back to the basic principles of ensuring residency and protecting integrity of our ballot system.”