Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Voter Suppression In Virginia on College Campuses

What party would feel comfortable lying about voter eligibility? What party would want to be portrayed as suppressing votes while touting its efforts to protect voter rights? The Republican Party of course. NY Times:

The widespread practice of students’ registering to vote at their college address has set off a fracas in Virginia, a battleground state in the presidential election. Late last month, as a voter-registration drive by supporters of Senator Barack Obama was signing up thousands of students at Virginia Tech, the local registrar of elections issued two releases incorrectly suggesting a range of dire possibilities for students who registered to vote at their college. The releases warned that such students could no longer be claimed as dependents on their parents’ tax returns, a statement the Internal Revenue Service says is incorrect, and could lose scholarships or coverage under their parents’ car and health insurance

All this despite a 1979 ruling by the United States Supreme Court that students have the right to register at their college address.

The state Board of Elections’ Web site says students can determine their legal residence, but advises them to consider certain questions. “Are you claimed as a dependent on your parents’ income tax return?” the site asks. “If you are, then their address is probably your legal residence.” The site also tells students to check whether their coverage under their parents’ health or automobile insurance, or their scholarship, will be affected by changing their residence.

The U.S. tax code explicitly allows dependents to live away from home while attending school. And students covered on their parents' health insurance plans aren't affected if they register to vote in another county or state. Financial aid has nothing to do with where a student

In other counties, registrars have refused to accept dormitory addresses as residences. But so far, the state has not set clear standards.

No comments:

Post a Comment