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VA Registrar to Students: Dire Results if You Register to Vote

Two false warnings issued by a local registrar of elections in Virginia may have prevented students from registering to vote. The written warning, issued during an Obama-supporter voter registration drive at Virginia Tech, incorrectly cited dire consequences if students register on campus — namely, that parents could not claim the students as dependents and that the students would risk losing scholarships or health insurance coverage. The IRS released a statement explaining that there is no risk of losing dependent status, while the state board of elections said it will modify and clarify murky guidelines.

Any chill on student voting seems troubling. Why should students have to chose between participating in democracy where they live and keeping a scholarship or health insurance? Students should not be forced to vote in their home elections while they live near school and are impacted by local decisions, such as police policy, neighborhood ordinances, or rent control. Still others may argue that there must be a higher bar for voter registration. If a student wants to vote where she attends college, should she expect to pay state taxes, for example?

Perhaps the solution would be for voter-registration drives to present accurate pros and cons of where you register (not an erroneous and alarming official statement discouraging student voters), while providing resources for students to register back home, too.

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kastarte2 kastarte2 7 years
I suppose students who don't want to go through the paperwork could just register to vote at home and then vote absentee ballot.
piper23 piper23 7 years
I don't understand why this is misinformation given to supress democrats only. What if there were independents there at that rally and after hearing Obama go on and on, they decided to go register to vote as republicans. It could have happened, we just don't know. And they would have gotten the same bad information. I'm just saying...
ilanac13 ilanac13 7 years
wow - that's just harsh to not fully understand what's going on if you want to register to vote. i think that it's sometimes helpful to have sites like 'Declare yourself' to overrule any confusion. i'm glad that it's getting sorted out since there are a lot of students on campuses that want to get more involved and they WILL be our future so it makes sense for them to know waht will truly happen if/when they register away from 'home'
brielleblonde brielleblonde 7 years
okkk i go to virginia tech, and the controversy about the people asking us to register to vote in Montgomery county was that they didn't tell us that we had to change our drivers license and bank information to our college address... they just said we had to sign a paper. So the people were being misleading and leaving out a lot of information. Changing your drivers license would mean having to change car registration, car insurance, passport information, etc. which is a LOT of work when you have tests, quizess and homework due too! It does stink that college kids can't vote in the state we attend school (especially since im a democrat in VA) because legislation changes that affects us at school! there should be changes made about that!
livvylove livvylove 7 years
I have a friend who's a jehovah's witness and they're not allowed to have anything to do with government. for example, he doesn't stand for the national anthem, say the pledge, vote and he says he doesn't support the troops. i think it's very interesting bc he does go to a public university and went to public schools.
dreamsugar dreamsugar 7 years
Lilk -- :rotfl: -- ok -- made me chuckle at the thought. There are actually people who can vote but for religious purposes don't. Those people annoy me.
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 7 years
lil- that's weird though, because I had to serve jury duty in the county my license was issued from. And apparently going to school full time five hours away wasn't a compelling reason not to serve on a jury... I don't get this post though...obviously no one should be dissuaded from voting, but isn't the point that the VaTech students were misleading potential registrants, not that the law actually does any of these things? Like, you just got done saying this doesn't actually happen right? "Why should students have to chose between participating in democracy where they live and keeping a scholarship or health insurance?" I'm so confused now. :( Long day!
rabidmoon rabidmoon 7 years
"Dude, that kind of thinking frightens me. That's just a couple of steps away from "survivalist with guns hiding out in the forest." Friends don't let friends write manifestos. Sidenote: Is Diebold doing the voting machines again this year? I heard if you vote Obama, they emit electrical shocks. (jk, night!)
MartiniLush MartiniLush 7 years
LOL, lilkimbo! I actually had a friend who refused to vote because she thought that the government kept a record of your voting patterns and that the FBI would spy on you if you voted against the administration that was in power! Don't ask - I think her mom dropped her on her head as a baby or something!
lilkimbo lilkimbo 7 years
I was talking about the people who think the government will know they exist if they register to vote.
dreamsugar dreamsugar 7 years
Actually -- for those people who were accused of a crime that they didn't commit --- they should be able to vote.
kikidawn kikidawn 7 years
Students should not be forced to vote in their home elections while they live near school and are impacted by local decisions, such as police policy, neighborhood ordinances, or rent control. So very true! Next week I am working on a voter registration drive. In part b/c of the upcoming Presidential election, but also in part b/c in the next State Senate race is very important. The incumbent has a inclination to raise tution by 10% every year, in my state we have a program called OHLAP that pays for full tution to any state school for in-state students that meet certain requirements upon high school graduation and he wants to cut OHLAP funding and not provide a permanent funding, and calls education the "black hole". So obviously as a student I don't really like him! lol But this is the most striking part: the majority of his district consists of the campus dorms (freshmen) and apartments that house a lot of the upperclassmen! lol
lilkimbo lilkimbo 7 years
I cheated and stayed registered at home. I probably could have done more good registered at school. My home district was very Republican and the district where I went to school swayed back and forth a bit.
kastarte2 kastarte2 7 years
That's true lil. I remember being told that at Westfield State.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 7 years
You are technically supposed to register where you go to school because that's where you're counted in the census.
kastarte2 kastarte2 7 years
I registered to vote at my school when I went away to college. My school encouraged registering. This sounds like a form of disenfranchising to me.
organicsugr organicsugr 7 years
"And Dream, I'm glad those people don't vote! I don't want them making such an important decision." Yeah, those people can't ever repay their debt to society.
Jude-C Jude-C 7 years
"I'm glad those people don't vote! I don't want them making such an important decision." Very true!
lilkimbo lilkimbo 7 years
I hear about Democrats deploying similar tactics. I don't think those from either group who do these things are representative of the group as a whole. And Dream, I'm glad those people don't vote! I don't want them making such an important decision.
yesteryear yesteryear 7 years
holy crap this is despicable.
MarinerMandy MarinerMandy 7 years
I went to an out of state college at first and in an attempt to get in-state tuition I registered to vote in that state (among other tactics) and it didn't work, so they definately went too far.
dreamsugar dreamsugar 7 years
I totally agree Jude!!!
Jude-C Jude-C 7 years
"I know some people who never registered to vote because they don't want the government to know they exist (as if they couldn't figure that out)." Dude, that kind of thinking frightens me. That's just a couple of steps away from "survivalist with guns hiding out in the forest."
dreamsugar dreamsugar 7 years
OMG -- and they fell for it.......:rotfl: Seriously -- I know some people who never registered to vote because they don't want the government to know they exist (as if they couldn't figure that out). And apparently there are some ex-cons who think they can't vote because they were once convicted of a felony (??) -- As far as I know they can vote (depends on state).
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 7 years
I agree Jude. I read that the voter registration deadline for Virginia is 29 days before an election, so hopefully they'll be able to reissue some kind of "Oops we gave you misleading information" letter.
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