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Old 09-11-2008, 09:37 AM
 
Location: Mint Hill, NC
769 posts, read 1,940,882 times
Reputation: 450

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The main question to me behind this is, do we allow individuals who are in a community for a "short" period of time to influence the long term environment of that city?

I believe that restricting where a person can vote, regardless of their age provides a lot more questions than solutions. If we are going to restrict which elections a college student who may only be in the town/city of their college for 1-4 years can participate in, does that mean that we should restrict which elections a 50 year-old man can vote in because he's taken a job that is only going to keep him in this city for 3 years?

As we become an increasingly mobile society, these effects will also increase, and not just in the 18-24 age range. Personally, having moved from a Blue state to a Red state, I've seen an awful lot of other "Blues" move here who are far above the 18-24 age range. I was always "Purple" anyway, can't figure out if I'm a liberal Republican or a Conservative Democrat!! I believe that due to this increasing mobility that eventually the entire country will simply be varying shades of purple.

But back to the point at hand. A college student becomes a citizen of the community that his/her college is in, and while they are not paying taxes directly, by paying their tuition and living, shopping and doing business in the community, they are contributing to the community and it's economy as much as any other citizen of that community. They therefore also should have the rights of a citizen, including voting.

There is also the cost that would be associated with restricting voting, since an "accounting" of all college students registered to vote would have to be maintained and verified for every election, probably by the local elections office.

I believe that the strategy of going after citizens who are members of the opposing party is brilliant. However, one college town of say, Reds, voting in a Blue state is not going to be sufficient to swing an election. At least at this time, I believe that the end result will simply be to decrease the margin of difference in the popular vote in any state whether Red or Blue.

And, to call a state Red or Blue is a broad view. California is a "Blue" state, and yet there are areas that are as Red as can be. I believe that most college students also consider the environment when they are choosing a college - not necessarily consciously in terms of political orientation, but I believe that part of what makes a community attractive is at least partially an alignment with one's own beliefs and preferences. It would be a very interesting study to see what the political affiliations of the students of a college are compared to the community around them.

 
Old 09-11-2008, 09:52 AM
 
Location: Philaburbia
31,164 posts, read 57,288,199 times
Reputation: 52030
During my college years, I was much better informed about the issues important in the city where I attended college than in the city where I grew up. I was first able to vote in 1977, in the off-year general election, and helped elect city council and school board members, and weighed in on tax levies and other state and local ballot issues. These candidates and issues affected my life every day.

These days students have access via the Internet to their hometown newspapers and TV stations, of course, but many college students consider themselves to be a member of their college community instead of their home community.

Quote:
while they are not paying taxes directly
Yes, they are. As a college student, I was in every way as much a citizen of that city as permanent residents: I paid city income taxes and state income taxes out of my paycheck, I paid state and local sales taxes every time I made a purchase. I paid rent to my landlord, just like non-student renters in the city, and the landlord in turn paid property taxes from my rent.
 
Old 09-11-2008, 10:20 AM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 25,253,389 times
Reputation: 18984
Quote:
Originally Posted by ellemaew View Post
If we are going to restrict which elections a college student who may only be in the town/city of their college for 1-4 years can participate in, does that mean that we should restrict which elections a 50 year-old man can vote in because he's taken a job that is only going to keep him in this city for 3 years?
Many good points in your post--I especially liked this one. Many businesses move their employees frequently, especially engineering firms and high tech companies.

In addition, there is the challenge of people who return to school in their late 20's. How about those who are 30-40-50. Or senior citizens who are taking classes after a lifetime of hard work? Removing their right to vote would turn into a bizarre punishment for educating yourself.
 
Old 09-11-2008, 10:55 AM
 
Location: Sacramento
13,755 posts, read 23,217,198 times
Reputation: 6087
Quote:
Originally Posted by sgresident View Post
I'm sorry, I realize that I didn't actually answer the question. If the student has a permanent address at their college..if they never go home to live, then they should be registered at that location. Their main residence is their home/parents home. that is where they should vote, and be allowed to vote in any and all elections..local and national. Living in a dorm or off-campus, has no impact.
You beat me to it, but I agree with you completely here. They should be voting in their home state of record, not where they attend college.
 
Old 09-11-2008, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 25,253,389 times
Reputation: 18984
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
many college students consider themselves to be a member of their college community instead of their home community.
Excellent point. How many people actually return to their home town after they've gone to an out-of-state college? I know I certainly didn't. I gew up in Florida, left as soon as I finished high school and never looked back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
As a college student, I was in every way as much a citizen of that city as permanent residents: I paid city income taxes and state income taxes out of my paycheck, I paid state and local sales taxes every time I made a purchase. I paid rent to my landlord, just like non-student renters in the city, and the landlord in turn paid property taxes from my rent.
Also a good point. Many students work. Students pump plenty of tax dollars into the local economy since many of them are buying their first car, setting up their first apartment, etc.

Plus, worrying about the effect on local issues is far fetched (IMO). The students who care enough to vote on local issues are likely to be permanent residents, anyway. Kids who are "just passing through" might vote for a presidential candidate but they aren't likely to care about voting on local issues.
 
Old 09-11-2008, 11:18 AM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 25,253,389 times
Reputation: 18984
Quote:
Originally Posted by sgresident View Post
If the student has a permanent address at their college..if they never go home to live, then they should be registered at that location. Their main residence is their home/parents home. that is where they should vote, and be allowed to vote in any and all elections..local and national.
Nicely stated. Do you see this as being "on the honor system" or as something that requires a rule?

If it's "on the honor system" how would you recommend spreading the word and convincing students to use an absentee ballot? Something as low key as ads in the student newspaper--or would this require an announcement from the dean? If this requires a rule, what sort of rule would it be, and how would it be enforced? Who would make the rule?

One problem I have with absentee ballots is that you're deciding issues for a town you're absent from. I remember when Detroit had massive layoffs in the early 1980's and a huge number of people moved to Houston. They still voted as Michiganders, sending in thousands and thousands of absentee ballots. This resulted in a very odd statistic: according to election returns, the third largest city in Michigan was Houston, Texas. Once you've moved to a new state, should you really be voting on issues for the town you used to live in?

Last edited by normie; 09-11-2008 at 11:26 AM..
 
Old 09-11-2008, 11:18 AM
 
Location: Orlando, Florida
43,858 posts, read 43,564,164 times
Reputation: 58603
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delta Planter View Post
The required age of attainment to vote is 18, correct? According to the 26th Amendment to the Constitution of the US? Did I read that correctly?

If a man or woman has attained that age, either 18 or 21, I can't discern which for sure at the moment, s/he is a citizen of the US, then, of course s/he should have the right to vote. This does not mean, however, that s/he even knows what s/he is voting for. I would think that a possible derivation of the tests naturalized citizens go through to claim citizenship should be administered to the individuals as they come of age, to discern whether they really understand the electoral process, not just the electoral college.

There is always the absentee ballot. When I was on active duty, I claimed Florida as my domicile, as I was living there when I re-upped for the third time. Accordingly, I voted absentee for 12 years. I'm sure that a student whether from a blue or red state, going to school in a blue or red state would be entitled to the same absentee vote.

Be fair, be square, let the student vote her/his mind, not just for the party.

Just my thoughts on this morning of 9/11.
This is such an excellent post!

My personal opinion is if someone is old enough to join the military, they are old enough to vote.
 
Old 09-11-2008, 11:21 AM
 
Location: Texas
433 posts, read 389,957 times
Reputation: 136
Multipart answer:
Of course students should vote!!! The voting age in the USA is 18. Therefore college students 18 and over in fact are allowed to vote.
The question of where the vote should be counted is a bit different. Ordinarily the student is a temporary resident and must vote absentee at the home of record- not at the University address. If the student chooses to change residency by complying with state requirements then residency can be established at the university. I'm sure each State has it's own requirements for residency; Texas requires one to change Drivers license and vehicle registration within 30 days of becoming a resident. Military and (I believe) college students are exempted from this requirement because they are temporary residents. So if you live in Dallas and attend school in Austin you vote in Dallas.

IMHO: Students should register and vote. Their voting interests should in fact be where they consider 'Home' to be. I don't want them voting on tax issues in my community if they reside in the insular campus community- Likewise I don't want to vote on student body issues on their campus.
 
Old 09-11-2008, 11:56 AM
 
Location: Sacramento
13,755 posts, read 23,217,198 times
Reputation: 6087
Quote:
Originally Posted by normie View Post
Excellent point. How many people actually return to their home town after they've gone to an out-of-state college? I know I certainly didn't. I gew up in Florida, left as soon as I finished high school and never looked back.
Every single kid I know who went away to college came home during breaks and summer. The home of record should be their out-of-state-address.
 
Old 09-11-2008, 12:02 PM
 
Location: Connecticut
427 posts, read 1,210,566 times
Reputation: 351
One yes students should be able to vote, 18-24 year olds are just as informed as non students. In face I have often met more students who know about who their voting for than many "adults". The consitution gives us the right to vote at 18, their should not be restrictions on that.

And correct me if I am wrong but last time I checked you can only vote for the town or city, and from the state of where you are registered. Most college students at even a 4 year school are not able, or going to change their registration, unless their permanent address is in the same town as the school.

A college address is not your permanent address, unless you rent a place of campus.
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