Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Why Should Students Be Allowed to Vote Where they Don’t Reside?

Last Saturday the New York Times ran their latest bias hit piece in favor of vote fraud focusing on voter ID requirements for students in North Carolina.  While it would be easy to go through the story step by step and point out the facts it gets wrong or ignores (like how the Justice Department lost the most similar lawsuit against neighboring South Carolina), let’s instead focus on one aspect of student voting. 

Should students’ votes count more than everyone else? That is what this boils down to in a nutshell.  For NO ONE is trying to stop students from voting and further I do not know anyone who is opposed to the young getting more involved in the political process.

However, should people be able to vote where they do not reside and have no intention of residing?  Everyone agrees we should have excused absentee voting, so people who are away from home on Election Day can vote in their home states and have their votes counted.  Would anyone be okay with letting those same people vote in the states they happen to be in on Election Day, even if they have no intent of ever residing there?  Forget about the “big ticket” items such as President, does anyone believe that local initiatives, school board races, city council elections, etc. should be determined by people who have no interest or intent to reside at the location? 

Yet that is what can happen with student voting.  A student is going away from home for college.  The student may be living and intending to reside in that location or they may be going there to get the best education they can and intend to return home.  They could even be commuting to school. You will hear many students talk about “going home” for the summer or holidays, an obvious indicator of their mental state of where they perceive themselves as residing. That student should be treated like everyone else and vote where they intend to reside.   

The Democrats have repeatedly made a mockery of these important state constitutional requirements for residency as a prerequisite, encouraging students who are lawfully registered in their home state to ignore the domicile requirement of residency and register to vote in the swing state that will benefit Democrats.

In 2008, the Obama campaign set up a program that was, at best, unethical helping students choose where to vote.  The program did not tell students about legal definitions of residency in the various states or help them legally register in the state they resided, rather the program picked the most targeted state for them to vote.  The program worked like this for identical students who only had their states and colleges reversed.  Student A lived in Columbus, Ohio but was going to school at Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  The program told A to vote in the target state of Ohio over the blue state of Massachusetts.  Student B was reversed; B was going to school at Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio but lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The program told B to vote in Ohio. 

Can anyone else do this? 

Another problem with this is it also allows double voting not just in the same election but in the same election cycle. 

In 2000, this almost changed the course of history according to old stories no longer available online.  The Gore campaign allegedly urged Massachusetts commuter students of colleges in New Hampshire to vote in the targeted state of New Hampshire where there votes “would count” over the blue state of Massachusetts where many voted in the primary.  None of the students had any intent of ever residing in New Hampshire.  If the Gore campaign could have found enough of these fraudulent voters history could have been changed.  (And if student ID was a form of voting ID all the Massachusetts commuters could have easily voted in a place they never lived or intended to live.) 

Voter ID would make the students vote where they actually intend to reside and, of course, if they change their mind on where they reside they can easily (and generally freely) get a new ID. 

To reiterate: students should absolutely be able to vote where they legally reside.  However, does anyone think the very rich should be able to choose which of their houses they own to vote at on election days while legally residing elsewhere?  Should they be able to vote in the primaries in all places?  That would be offensive; why is it not in the case of students?  They have to vote where they reside not where their wealth allows them to spend the night. 

Why should students be the only people who get to vote where they don’t legally reside or intend to reside?  

1 comment:

  1. This was a problem for us in college in Northern Indiana. All the Chicago natives would register to vote in Indiana because their votes for Democrats in Chicago were of no consequence at any electoral level. Since margin of victory in Illinois was irrelevant to the composition of the legislative and executive branches, they shifted their votes to swing states.