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Old 09-11-2008, 07:35 AM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 25,265,865 times
Reputation: 18984

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Two points before we get started on this discussion:

1. College enrollment is at an all time high. As a result, a historic number of students from New England, New York, and California (blue states) have not been accepted to schools near their homes and instead have gone to schools in the south and the midwest (often red states).

2. The electoral vote will decide this election, not the popular vote.

As a result: One strategy during this election has been to appeal to "out-of- state" students, telling them they have the power to turn their new state purple.

My question: Since these students are temporary (4-year) residents, do you think this is
a) a smart strategy, or
b) an abuse of the electoral system
c) a waste of time because college students don't vote, anyway

More questions behind the question:

Do you think college students should be allowed to vote? Why, or why not?

Should college students' votes be assigned to their address prior to starting school? And how would this be done?

Should the rule be that students who live off campus can vote, but those living in a dorm cannot?

Should students be allowed to vote in national elections, but not local elections?

For purposes of disclosure, I'm active in voter registration and think registering out-of-state college students is a brilliant strategy. But I'm more interested in hearing what other people think--so it may be a while before I step in to present my POV.

Last edited by normie; 09-11-2008 at 07:50 AM..

 
Old 09-11-2008, 07:46 AM
 
Location: Alvarado, TX
2,914 posts, read 4,157,123 times
Reputation: 794
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.
 
Old 09-11-2008, 07:47 AM
 
Location: wrong planet
5,117 posts, read 10,037,785 times
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I think young people over 18 should most certainly be allowed to vote and I hope they will come out in full force for the election. They are the ones that will end up inheriting the debt and the problems of the upcoming administration.

They should be allowed to vote where their current main residence is. If they spend most of the year at the dorm or living there off campus, then that is where they should vote. If they are only there for 2 or 4 years, so what? Americans are a very mobile society and many people move a lot of their jobs. Who knows what the future will bring? Maybe some of these students will make job connections and start relationships and stay right there, in the state they are going to school in.
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Old 09-11-2008, 07:59 AM
 
Location: Murfreesboro, TN
3,528 posts, read 7,168,548 times
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Juat a few quick thoughts.

College students should be allowed to vote. I am thinking by absentee ballot, but allowed to vote whether by absentee ballot or some other means.

If college students are prohibited from voting, that would be like penalizing them for going to college.
 
Old 09-11-2008, 08:21 AM
 
Location: Sugar Grove, IL
3,131 posts, read 10,275,747 times
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My son is a soph in college and has been voting since he turned 18! He votes absentee. He seems to be the lone republican in many of his college discussions. He takes his responsibility seriously and would not miss the opportunity to vote. If all of these students care, they will make sure to get an absentee ballot!
 
Old 09-11-2008, 08:25 AM
 
Location: Sugar Grove, IL
3,131 posts, read 10,275,747 times
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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.
 
Old 09-11-2008, 08:35 AM
 
2,790 posts, read 5,578,169 times
Reputation: 1913
As a first-time voter for McGovern who voted in my first election (primary) when I was only 17, I am appalled that anyone would be so devious as to suggest, much less to attempt to control the outcome of an election through the 18-21 vote. Sounds rather reminiscent of the Jim Crow laws to prevent blacks from voting. The Constitution provides 18-20 year olds the right to vote. Period. To put any conditions or restrictions that single them out essentially is an attempt to disenfranchise them, and is highly un-American in my opinion. How about you also try to impose conditions on the 19th amendment as well, instructing women to vote the same as their husband or closest male relative? Good grief!

Last edited by MICoastieMom; 09-11-2008 at 08:37 AM.. Reason: corrected spelling
 
Old 09-11-2008, 08:48 AM
 
7,099 posts, read 23,906,180 times
Reputation: 7248
Voting is more than just the national elections.

Allowing students to vote where they go to school can have a definite impact on local elections. I am not sure that would always be wise. Maybe, maybe not. Should students from all over the country have a say on my town mayor and aldermen? Or my State's Govenor? I don't think so.

Perhaps there could be someway of allowing them to vote only in nationwide elections and restricting them the vote in local ones.

I will give you an example of what can happen. They have been allowed to vote in a nearby university city. It's a small town, and the student population is huge. The local ordinances seemed to be restrictive and the students began to object. Now, I don't know which side was right or wrong, it doesn't matter. What matters is that the students organized and elected THEIR choice for mayor regardless of what the property owners and taxpayers of the city wanted.

Was this proper? I just don't know. It worries me.
 
Old 09-11-2008, 08:54 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania, USA
5,217 posts, read 4,115,320 times
Reputation: 908
Quote:
Originally Posted by normie View Post
Two points before we get started on this discussion:

1. College enrollment is at an all time high. As a result, a historic number of students from New England, New York, and California (blue states) have not been accepted to schools near their homes and instead have gone to schools in the south and the midwest (often red states).

2. The electoral vote will decide this election, not the popular vote.

As a result: One strategy during this election has been to appeal to "out-of- state" students, telling them they have the power to turn their new state purple.

My question: Since these students are temporary (4-year) residents, do you think this is
a) a smart strategy, or
b) an abuse of the electoral system
c) a waste of time because college students don't vote, anyway


More questions behind the question:

Do you think college students should be allowed to vote? Why, or why not?

Absolutely! More than ever in their life, who's elected into office begins to really affect them as they go from being minors under their parents watch to adults. At 18 they can be called to fight for their country or enlist to do so so they should also have a vote in how they are utilized in such a capacity. They are also deeply effected by other issues like college affordability. It is their future they are voting for and I think that they are the true voice for change in this country. Obama is way ahead in the polls with the younger generation, not just because he is the younger candidate but he offers something fresh and different from what we currently have. I think it's extremely encouraging that more and more younger people are getting involved in the process and that candidates are drawing them in.

Should college students' votes be assigned to their address prior to starting school? And how would this be done?
No, I do not believe they do and the reason is becuase,for the most part, their school becomes their home for the next 4 or 5 years. Even after college students finish they end up staying where they went to school .The majority of their time is spent at their school residence and so therefore they are affected on a local level and should have voting rights where they reside.

Should the rule be that students who live off campus can vote, but those living in a dorm cannot?

No? Why would being on or off campus make a difference. It still in that same district. A college campus is not a universe unto itself.

Should students be allowed to vote in national elections, but not local elections?

For purposes of disclosure, I'm active in voter registration and think registering out-of-state college students is a brilliant strategy. But I'm more interested in hearing what other people think--so it may be a while before I step in to present my POV.

Anyone should be able to vote in whatever election they want, local or nationally. I will admit that I didn't participate much on a local level until I became a homeowner and an adult /mother. Simply because I felt I wasn't affected as much by the outcome, nor did I have enough information to make an informed decision. What I failed to realize then was that local level elections more impact us than the national elections do (although they ALL do affect us). I don't think it fair to say "we value your opinino on x but not on y". IT sends the wrong message. It may even discourage young people from voting, which in turn could lead to them not voting later on in their lives. I think that youth need to be encouraged to really pay attention on ALL levels because what is passed today wether on a local or national level will most affect them in the future.

IMO the electoral college needs to be done away with. I understand why it was implemented back when we were a young country.. and that was mainly because there was a lot of the population that was uneducated, couldn't read and write AND didn't have access to information to make the best decisions so the founder fathers used the electoral college as a "safety net" against the ignorance of the population. But, that is so outdated today with majority of our population educated not to mention the plethora of information at our fingertips with the information technology. This would actually let the MAJORITY of the people decide the president by popular vote rather than what state is blue or red, etc.

I do feel Obama will win, but if he looses it may only be because of the way the electoral votes go and he will win the popular vote, much like Gore in 2000.
 
Old 09-11-2008, 09:12 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,861 posts, read 51,373,474 times
Reputation: 27750
I'm not sure I understand the logic behind someone thinking that this 1. would be legal 2. could be a bad thing, or 3. that it would have a statistically relevant effect.

Taking the last point first, the percentage of college students compared to registered voters in any state is not high, and the general trend is for students to choose colleges and universities that are consistent with their morals and goals. For example, I doubt that you could find a large liberal student population at Auburn in Alabama. Perhaps a cite of a situation where this could occur would help me understand the concept of energizing this base.

People move all the time in the U.S., and I suspect that the massive flow of Floridians in the past few years will have a far greater effect on voting demographics than a few college students voting contrary to the votes of the faculty and staff of a college in an entrenched state.

Moving to the second point, educated voters are the backbone of a system of representatives that work for the betterment of businesses and the people. Adding to that pool is a good thing. Removing them is a bad thing, unless the candidate is dependent on a mob mentality to gain office.

My initial point is by far the most important one. I am dumbfounded that anyone could even consider for a moment that it might be legal. Politics aside, I am very concerned that college students and those over eighteen years of age are increasingly denied full rights of citizenship.

The simple raising of the question "Should college students be allowed to vote?" reinforces my concern that the citizens and lawmakers of this country are out of touch with the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Years ago, we saw the first major inroads into selective restrictions of adults, when the drinking age was raised above the age of majority. Since then, businesses have increasingly felt free to restrict full citizens in ways that are entirely legal, but run counter to the idea of a Constitutionally protected full and equal citizenship, based on a nebulous idea of "potential risk," which is something that cannot be fought by the citizenry. Responsible people under the age of 21 can't drink because the "potential risk" of people in their age group driving drunk increases if it is allowed, and the "risk" to society is too great according to MADD and state legislators intent on getting Federal funds to maintain their roads. Next, car rental corporate heads decide that people under 21 can't rent cars on their own, because the "potential risk" of their getting into accidents is too great. Will the age of being allowed to vote be raised as well, because of the "potential risk" of electing Paris Hilton to President, or perhaps changed to "You can vote once you leave college." as is implied as a possibility by the initial question?

Encroachments on Constitutionally guaranteed rights keep coming, and most folks don't realize each one sets new precedents for restrictions on them as well. How long before such thinking leads to "All people with Alzheimers shouldn't be allowed to vote?" How long before the laws that state "People over the age of 85 shouldn't be allowed to drive?" How long before "Only college graduates can be allowed to vote." Thirty years ago, the issue being debated wouldn't have even been considered. What has changed?

I'm not suggesting that there haven't been restrictions in the past; poll taxes and reading tests immediately come to mind. The point of contention I have here is that to mentally form the initial question about college students, one has to think the Constitution can or should be negated in a casual way. For me, that is a very frightening thought.
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