Black On Campus
Higher Education and the African American Experience

Websites Take Steps to Ensure Students’ Voting Rights

October 2nd, 2008 by Ajuan Mance

District, the independent news weekly published by students at the Savannah College of Art and Design, reports that a number of websites have been created to help students see through the misleading information that GOP election officials have disseminated about their voting rights.

With few exceptions, students may choose to register in one of two places, either in the district where their parents live or in the district where their on- or off-campus residence is located. With the exception of a small number of students whose scholarships stipulate where the recipient must claim legal residency, college voters can choose either their campus/off-campus residence or their parents’ residence without endangering their financial aid status.

District weekly describes two of the sites that have recently been created to help students understand the regulations of their community/state/precinct:

The Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law established such a Web site. It displays a map of the United States and allows students to choose whether or not they would like to vote from home or from their school. It then displays the appropriate
registration guidelines.

Other sites have gone further. CountMore.org, a non-partisan website established last month allows students to choose the state their school is located in and their home state. It then uses an algorithm to sift through data from current polls and the 2004 election to determine where their vote would most likely count more. As it stands now, according to their Web site, the swing states that matter most are Ohio and Colorado. Followed by Virginia, Pennsylvania, Florida, Nevada, and Michigan. Therefore, if you select Georgia as your school state, and Colorado as your home state the site tells you the margin of victory in the 2004 election was 16.71 percent in Georgia, versus 4.73 percent in Colorado.

CountMore.org then provides a link to register to vote in Colorado. Their website also has a note saying, “The small number of students with scholarships or tuition that require residency should check with their financial aid office before registering to vote in their home state.” Not all scholarships require residency, and in fact this is where controversy most often starts.

The Brennan Center has detailed information on how registering to vote may affect residency status of the minority of students whose tuition or scholarships stipulate where they can be a resident.

If you or a student you know need information on how and where to register, please access the information on either or both of these sites. Once again, they are:

If you simply need information on how and where to register, the Student’s Guide to Voting includes a state-by-state list of links to the relevant local offices. Scroll down and you will find the list and the links for your state.

Or, you can click on the image below to reach the Proud Black Voter initiative’s state-by-state voter information. Remember, the deadline for registration is rapidly approaching.

Posted by Ajuan Mance

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Posted in Current Events, Higher Education, Student Voters, Voter Registration, Voting Rights

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