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Student voting raises concerns
roanoke.com ^ | Saturday August 30, 2008 | Kevin Litten

Posted on 08/30/2008 9:55:29 AM PDT by Darnright

A registrar drew fire for pointing out possible effects of students' registering to vote.

A Montgomery County official's attempt to outline state elections law for thousands of Virginia Tech students this week prompted a swift reaction from Barack Obama campaign officials, who worried the statement could have a "chilling effect" on a massive registration effort now under way.

Montgomery County Registrar Randy Wertz said he wrote the news release, distributed through the county's Web site, amid concerns that the hundreds of Tech students registering to vote using their Blacksburg addresses would essentially change their permanent address. That, he wrote, could affect students' scholarships or tax filings and would obligate them to change car registrations and their driver's license to their permanent address.

But Obama campaign officials said they had never heard of students' dependency status on their parents' tax forms affected by their voter registration and added that other laws the release cited are rarely enforced or subject to interpretation. Wertz issued a second statement two days later, saying the county cannot give out tax advice.

"They thought we might be intimidating the students and keeping them from registering," Wertz said. "That certainly was not our intent."

The Obama campaign's response highlights the state's newly minted battleground status, but it is also reviving long-held concerns that a gray area in state election law regarding residency could leave college students vulnerable to having their registrations challenged because of their transient status. Language in the state law could be interpreted to bar students from using their college address if they consider their residence temporary.

"What we believe is that if a student is living on campus, that's a perfectly acceptable residence to register to vote," Richmond-based Obama campaign spokesman Kevin Griffis said. Wertz said he agrees and has no plans to challenge anyone who lists their college address. But he said students with a different address than Blacksburg listed on their driver's licenses could have problems if they show up at a Montgomery County polling place without their voting card.

In Radford, however, Registrar Tracy Howard said he plans to call anyone listing a Radford University dorm room as an address to find out whether students consider their dorms their permanent residences. Radford's classes start Monday.

"A dorm is generally -- and I say generally -- the same thing as a long-term motel stay," he said. "There are people that don't have another place to stay, and they're perfectly eligible."

Griffis said Howard's interpretation sounded too narrow. "I think if we need to have a conversation with the registrar about the way he's interpreting the law, that's something we'll do."

He added, "We have done quite a bit of homework on this, and we've already worked through similar problems in other places."

Charlottesville Registrar Sheri Iachetta said she faces the same issues with University of Virginia students as registrars in Radford and Montgomery County. But the question of whether students can consider addresses at college permanent is one she said she leaves up to the voter.

"I'm not going to question anyone. They have to sign under penalty of perjury that the information they gave me was correct," Iachetta said. "They're 18 years of age and they're away from home, and they can make their own decision."

But she acknowledged the ambiguities in the law, saying that officials "ask for clarification every single year." Even so, Iachetta said she has focused most of her energy on educating students running registration drives rather than enforcing rules. It's an exciting time for registrars to have widespread engagement, she said, and she's stunned with the attitude some students have taken to voting.

"We had a young woman tell us that registering to vote was sexy," Iachetta said. "I said, 'Please, this is what I do.' I'm excited about all the enthusiasm ... but we do this every year."

Wertz, who said campus organizers are dropping off stacks of forms in the hundreds every few days, said he is similarly excited about the prospects of a huge youth turnout. But his focus is making sure elections run smoothly and fairly. That can be difficult when partisan groups see youth turnout as a political advantage, but as Wertz puts it, "We don't have a dog in this fight."

Griffis said that upon raising the concern, the campaign found Wertz "responsive, concerned about the students and making sure they're able to exercise their right to vote."

He said the campaign is now back to focusing on the registration effort.

Gail Gitcho, a spokeswoman for Republican John McCain's campaign, said although "the McCain campaign urges all young people to get involved in the democratic process," she noted that Democrats flush with donations have "money and staff to devote to voter registration efforts."

As a result, she said McCain campaign officials are taking a more targeted approach to registering voters rather than the blanket effort the Obama campaign is making.


TOPICS: News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Virginia
KEYWORDS: 5thcolumn; college; democrats; democratscheat; election; student; virginia; virginiatech; votefraud; youthvote
I'm sorry, but do we not have a system that provides for absentee balloting in this nation? Allowing students to vote as residents of the county in which they study makes no sense whatsoever, and doing so has the potential to radically alter local elections.
1 posted on 08/30/2008 9:55:29 AM PDT by Darnright
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To: Corin Stormhands

Virginia ping


2 posted on 08/30/2008 9:56:19 AM PDT by Darnright (A penny saved is a government oversight)
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To: Darnright

Voting is determined on your residence. Dorms are temporary housing for students whose residences, most likely, are where their parents live. If these college kids are so darn smart, you’d think they have heard of absentee ballots.


3 posted on 08/30/2008 9:59:55 AM PDT by peggybac (Tolerance is the virtue of believing in nothing)
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To: Darnright

This was how the Kollege Kiddie Krusaders got rid of J.D. Hayworth in Arizona and replaced him with the lowest rated representative currently serving in the House. They’d do the absentee ballot from where they came while still voting a few times in Arizona. “One man, one vote.” Except for college kiddies. They like to vote and can do so as many times as they want. We don’t want to hurt their feelings.


4 posted on 08/30/2008 10:01:51 AM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (DemocRATS are a visible reminder of what it was like before people became civilized.)
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To: Darnright

“Allowing students to vote as residents of the county in which they study makes no sense whatsoever, and doing so has the potential to radically alter local elections.”

You could not be more correct. Take for example, the County of Santa Cruz California. Politically controlled by the transient student population.


5 posted on 08/30/2008 10:02:30 AM PDT by EggsAckley
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To: peggybac

If the democrats get away with this atrocity, it could well change the outcome of my local congressional race. UVA is in my district, a fairly solid conservative area, except for Charlottesville.

I am getting alarmed, to say the least.


6 posted on 08/30/2008 10:04:04 AM PDT by Darnright (A penny saved is a government oversight)
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To: Darnright

Students I talk to claim they will live in Blacksburg forever (despite) the lack of jobs available after graduation. They use this claim as a justification for registering to vote in Montgomery County.


7 posted on 08/30/2008 10:07:03 AM PDT by TaxRelief (Walmart: Keeping my family on-budget since 1993.)
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To: Darnright

I am convinced that VT voter fraud is the reason we’ve been stuck with Boucher for so long.


8 posted on 08/30/2008 10:08:00 AM PDT by TaxRelief (Walmart: Keeping my family on-budget since 1993.)
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To: peggybac
Voting is determined on your residence. Dorms are temporary housing for students whose residences, most likely, are where their parents live. If these college kids are so darn smart, you’d think they have heard of absentee ballots.

We don't want to get into the business of figuring out why people are where they are.

As a member of the military, for instance, I chose to register in the town where I rented an apartment, rather than vote absentee in the town where my parents lived. (That's still technically my home of record, though - and probably will be until I leave, unless I buy a house.)

I should be very annoyed if my home state said, "We don't care that you're living here at least 3 years. You can't vote here." I do pay State taxes.

9 posted on 08/30/2008 10:08:34 AM PDT by jude24
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To: peggybac
Non-residents, or non-permanent-residents [a.k.a. students] if of voting age, should ONLY be able to register to vote where they come from. Even if they are a Virginia resident, that does not give them [VA-Tech students] legal rights or privilages to vote in Blacksburg. PERIOD! That goes for UVA in Charlottesville or any other college town.

I'm sure the Obama camp will be doing just the exact opposite to the military voters though. Probably declare that they must register in person at their home polling place to qualify to vote even if they're in Afghanistan or Iraq.

10 posted on 08/30/2008 10:09:18 AM PDT by KriegerGeist (Lifetime member of the "Christian-Radical-Right-Wing-Kook-Factor")
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To: Darnright
...said he is similarly excited about the prospects of a huge youth turnout.

Prepare to be let down again, like you were in 00 and 04.

11 posted on 08/30/2008 10:10:42 AM PDT by IllumiNaughtyByNature (This post needs no words.)
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To: Darnright
UVA is in my district, a fairly solid conservative area, except for Charlottesville.

I am getting alarmed, to say the least.

So cause a scene. If after the election you think this has occurred (and by the looks of it, it is and the university officials don't seem to care), get together with some other likeminded folks, hire a lawyer and get the voter registration rolls. Get any kind of public record you can.

I'm serious.

12 posted on 08/30/2008 10:12:57 AM PDT by VeniVidiVici (A kid at McDonalds has more real-world work experience than Barack Hussein.)
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To: VeniVidiVici

We should probably start challenging double registrations ahead of time. Can that be done?


13 posted on 08/30/2008 10:15:15 AM PDT by TaxRelief (Walmart: Keeping my family on-budget since 1993.)
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To: jude24

>As a member of the military, for instance,<

Being in the military puts you in a whole different category, with different rules, than does your being a student at a college or university. In the latter case, in most instances you are still dependent on your parents for tuition and for much of your living expenses. If you are in the military, you are responsible for yourself.


14 posted on 08/30/2008 10:16:56 AM PDT by Darnright (A penny saved is a government oversight)
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To: jude24

>If you are in the military, you are responsible for yourself.<

And I forgot to add, you are serving your country. BTW, thank you!


15 posted on 08/30/2008 10:21:00 AM PDT by Darnright (A penny saved is a government oversight)
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To: Darnright

So long as students only vote in one place, I don’t see a problem. I’ve been out of college 15 years and I still find it annoying that so many locals in college towns are perfectly willing to accept studens’ money and labor in their local economies, but don’t want them to have a say in anything political. A lot of college towns would be insignificant backwaters were it not for their local colleges, the jobs they provide, and the money that they and their student populations pump into the local economy and tax bases. Besides, a liberal vote in Charlottesville, Blacksburg, or whatever college town is one less liberal vote somewhere else.


16 posted on 08/30/2008 10:21:45 AM PDT by Huntress (If you have a chip on your shoulder, you think everybody's trying to knock it off.-AnAmericanMother)
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To: Darnright

There was a story a few months back about some “college” that was going to issue “zero balance” electrical bills to all dorm students so they could register to vote in that state.


17 posted on 08/30/2008 10:23:00 AM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (DemocRATS are a visible reminder of what it was like before people became civilized.)
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To: All

How are we preparing to fight the inevitable voter fraud?


18 posted on 08/30/2008 10:24:33 AM PDT by CE2949BB (McCain08)
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To: Darnright
In the latter case, in most instances you are still dependent on your parents for tuition and for much of your living expenses. If you are in the military, you are responsible for yourself.

Not all college students are dependent on their parents for tuition or living expenses. But even so, their financial arrangements are none of the State's business.

Finances are not a predicate to the right to vote. If it were, housewives - who have zero income - would not be eligible to vote. Should my (for now, hypothetical) wife, who is entirely defendant on my income, be barred from the right to vote because she has chosen to stay at home?

Constitutionally, there are only two requirements for the right to vote: residence and age. We shouldn't change that.

19 posted on 08/30/2008 10:26:30 AM PDT by jude24
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To: Darnright
I am getting alarmed, to say the least.

Alarmed because of voter fraud, or because you might be out-voted?

BTW: UVA is a beautiful institution. I had to be there for a few months earlier this year. I was impressed, and liked the Charlottesville area.

20 posted on 08/30/2008 10:29:11 AM PDT by jude24
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To: Darnright

great tagline - LOLed

thanks


21 posted on 08/30/2008 10:30:43 AM PDT by Let's Roll (As usual, following a shooting spree, libs want to take guns away from those who DIDN'T do it.)
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To: TaxRelief

Not sure. Prior to the election I would think a full-page newspaper ad that simply states the voter requirements, penalties and the ramifications of changing ones permanent state of residence to vote.

And the voter registration info is public record. After the election you can simply request the info and match up voters voting in the UVA area with their previous voting registration location and check both to see if they voted twice.


22 posted on 08/30/2008 10:33:07 AM PDT by VeniVidiVici (A kid at McDonalds has more real-world work experience than Barack Hussein.)
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To: VeniVidiVici

And that wouldn’t be considered voter intimidation?


23 posted on 08/30/2008 10:35:12 AM PDT by TaxRelief (Walmart: Keeping my family on-budget since 1993.)
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To: Huntress
Besides, a liberal vote in Charlottesville, Blacksburg, or whatever college town is one less liberal vote somewhere else.

Assuming they only vote in one of the locations... (doubtful).

24 posted on 08/30/2008 10:37:36 AM PDT by TaxRelief (Walmart: Keeping my family on-budget since 1993.)
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To: TaxRelief

That’s why I qualified my post with the phrase, “So long as students only vote in one place. . .”


25 posted on 08/30/2008 10:46:12 AM PDT by Huntress (If you have a chip on your shoulder, you think everybody's trying to knock it off.-AnAmericanMother)
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To: jude24

>Not all college students are dependent on their parents for tuition or living expenses. But even so, their financial arrangements are none of the State’s business.<

It is when their parents in a different state use them for tax advantage, even when they register to vote in a different precinct, or even a different state.

Requiring a temporary college resident to vote with an absentee ballot doesn’t keep that person from voting. They simply have to complete a form.


26 posted on 08/30/2008 10:57:05 AM PDT by Darnright (A penny saved is a government oversight)
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To: jude24

>Alarmed because of voter fraud, or because you might be out-voted?<

Alarmed because democrats have used voter fraud for years to win elections in different states. Democrats don’t give a rat’s behind (pun intended) about rules or laws, when it comes to gaining power.


27 posted on 08/30/2008 11:04:01 AM PDT by Darnright (A penny saved is a government oversight)
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To: Darnright

Yet another reason I lost all faith in the integrity of our voting system a long, long time ago. It is a farce!


28 posted on 08/30/2008 11:04:16 AM PDT by Roccus (People seldom do what they believe in. They do what is convenient....then repent.)
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To: Darnright

I agree, unless you seek permanent off campus residence (in the state you go to school in)-which nullifies your residence/registration in another state. Then you shouldn’t have the right to vote in that state, get an absentee ballot instead (I did all throughout college) :)! I am from Indiana, but went to college in Virginia.


29 posted on 08/30/2008 11:10:43 AM PDT by JSDude1 (It;s only a protest vote if your political worldview is Republican 1st, conservative 2nd-pissant)
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To: Darnright
But Obama campaign officials said they had never heard of students' dependency status on their parents' tax forms affected by their voter registration and added that other laws the release cited are rarely enforced or subject to interpretation

Translation: We want students to break the laws because when nobody thought to break the laws those laws didn't need to be enforced.

30 posted on 08/30/2008 11:14:16 AM PDT by CharlesWayneCT
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To: jude24

I think the county should get hold of the voter roles, and slap local taxes on every person who claims to be a permanent resident.

They should also confiscate their drivers licenses if they are from another state, because it is illegal to have a drivers licence from another state if you live in Virginia.


31 posted on 08/30/2008 11:16:19 AM PDT by CharlesWayneCT
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To: Geist Krieger

I was at VT in 1981, and I voted absentee in Maryland for Ronald Reagan. I would have never CONSIDERED voting at my college town, because I didn’t live there.
.


32 posted on 08/30/2008 11:18:19 AM PDT by CharlesWayneCT
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To: CharlesWayneCT

> I would have never CONSIDERED voting at my college town, because I didn’t live there.<

For the record, I voted in my hometown the years I went to college also.


33 posted on 08/30/2008 11:33:34 AM PDT by Darnright (A penny saved is a government oversight)
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To: Darnright
UVA is in my district, a fairly solid conservative area, except for Charlottesville.

I vote in my home district in Loudoun County, where my official legal residence is. So yes, in November, I'm voting to reelect Rep. Wolf.

That said, I vote conservative, so I would probably vote for Rep. Goode if I lived in the Fifth District.

34 posted on 08/31/2008 3:24:09 PM PDT by rabscuttle385 (Life's uncertain. Eat dessert first.)
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To: Darnright; jude24
Being in the military puts you in a whole different category, with different rules, than does your being a student at a college or university. In the latter case, in most instances you are still dependent on your parents for tuition and for much of your living expenses. If you are in the military, you are responsible for yourself.

This is true. Both tax law and Federal financial aid regulations consider a full-time college student as a dependent of his or her parents and thus legally domiciled with his or her parents, unless they meet certain criteria to gain independent status. One of those criteria is veterans of the armed forces.

35 posted on 08/31/2008 3:26:24 PM PDT by rabscuttle385 (Life's uncertain. Eat dessert first.)
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To: jude24
BTW: UVA is a beautiful institution. I had to be there for a few months earlier this year. I was impressed, and liked the Charlottesville area.

Thank you!

36 posted on 08/31/2008 3:27:45 PM PDT by rabscuttle385 (Life's uncertain. Eat dessert first.)
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To: rabscuttle385

>Both tax law and Federal financial aid regulations consider a full-time college student as a dependent of his or her parents and thus legally domiciled with his or her parents, unless they meet certain criteria to gain independent status.<

Thanks for confirming the above. Having just gone through completing a FAFSA, it’s pretty clear students are clearly connected to their parents, as far as the government is concerned. Therefore, they should vote where they live, not where they attend college.


37 posted on 08/31/2008 10:06:11 PM PDT by Darnright (A penny saved is a government oversight)
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To: Darnright
Therefore, they should vote where they live, not where they attend college.

Bump. You vote wherever you are legally domiciled. And, if you are financially dependent on your parents (if at least for tax purposes), then you are considered legally domiciled at the residence of your parents.

As a side note, anyone who willfully tries to vote twice (here at UVA or at Tech) and in their home jurisdiction ought to go to jail. Furthermore, anyone at UVA who makes a false statement to the Registrar of the County of Albemarle or the City of Charlottesville in order to vote twice ought to have honor charges brought up and upon conviction be expelled.

38 posted on 08/31/2008 10:10:09 PM PDT by rabscuttle385 (Life's uncertain. Eat dessert first.)
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