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JLeslie's avatar

Do you think college students should be registered to vote in the state of their college?

Asked by JLeslie (55797points) 1 week ago from iPhone

Rachel Maddie discussed a Supreme Court case on her show last night. It was Symm v. United States regarding registering to vote and state residency.

The case happened during the time that the minimum age to voted changed from 21 to 18. The main argument for this was if young men could be drafted they should be able to vote. The decision to change the age, meant a lot of college students would be voting. States around the country were denying college students the right to vote. The court case affirmed that college students are residents at their school address and can vote in that district.

My question for you is, in your opinion, are the students residents at their school address? Or, should they be voting absentee ballot? What if they are out of state students? If they are residents to vote, then should out of state students be able to pay in state tuition?

Wikipedia link on original court case https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symm_v._United_States

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5 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

They get to choose.

Students will live at their university for four years. The college town becomes home, and they are subject to laws and policies of that town. That includes the need for representation at legislatures.

My daughter is registered here in California despite going to school in Massachusetts. But we have discussed her changing her registration to Mass. because she sees her life tied to that locale.

canidmajor's avatar

This opens up the question of out-of-state students getting the tuition break of in-state students.
I don’t have an answer, just thought I’d bring that up.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I think they should be given the choice, but the sheer hodgepodge of state laws on residency requirements, coupled with the fact that even within a single state those requirements can shift for different purposes, would render a nationwide law beyond problematic.

rojo's avatar

If the students are living on campus then yes they should be able to list the school as their residence address. If they live off campus then that should be their address and yes, they should be able to vote in and from that precinct where they are residing at the time of the vote.

Some make the argument that they are not living there full time and for many I am sure this is true but they are living there for more of the year than not.

It is not different than me moving to a new town, living there for a few years and then moving again. Or maintaining a country home that I stay in for three months out of the year while residing the other nine months in the city. Only difference is that I would not be in school and that should make no difference in whether or not I have the ability to vote.

In fact, I have a sister-in-law and she and her husband live in Oregon for about half the year and then Florida the other half (they used to avoid fire season then hurricane season but those are overlapping these days). They are registered to vote in Florida even though their time is split about 50 -50. They chose where they wanted to vote and as long as they did not register in both states the choice was theirs. Of course, the fact that they are in Fla. most Novembers also influenced their decision I suspect.

Rachel Maddow gave the impression that this is a racial discrimination thing and it most assuredly is a huge factor in the case of Waller, Texas. Waller county is 80% white while PVAM is overwhelmingly black but I live in a college town in a county that is predominantly white and the college is of a very similar racial mix as the county but even then this comes up from time to time, particularly around elections. Many locals really don’t want what they consider transients voting in local elections but, as I said earlier, these students live here as well and most for four years. So, while in some cases, such as Waller Co. race is a critical factor, in our town it is more an older vs younger discriminatory practice with the older, more repressive folks keeping those durn progressive, socialist leaning youngsters down.

JLeslie's avatar

@canidmajor I mentioned that in my original statement.

@stanleybmanly There is a national law, the Supreme Court ruled on it back in the 70’s under the case I cited. Students can register to vote where they live while attending college. That’s the law of the land.

@rojo For me it’s not that they don’t live there full time, afterall, I live in the land of snowbirds, it’s that the state doesn’t give them in state status for tuition. I don’t think I had to register my car in the state where my school was either. The laws are incongruous and overlapping.

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