Inequality on Voting Day?

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Students voting for their first time, some of which were not allowed.

EAST LANSING—Poll monitor Patrick Rose witnessed a voting disaster that he wants nobody to have.

A Michigan State student, who registered to vote in East Lansing as a Hubbard Hall resident in 2008, came into the Akers Hall precinct Tuesday ready to cast his vote.

“He should legally be allowed to vote here in the precinct, but his driver’s license shows his home address where he stays with his family in the summer in Southfield.  And instead of being told that he can vote once again in the precinct here, he has to go home to vote, because the Department of Motor Vehicles automatically changed his registration to his home address.”

According to Rose, the Department of Motor Vehicles switches a voter’s address when the driver’s license expires or the individual turns 21.  The department was closed for Election Day and could not be reached for immediate comment.

The student did not return to Southfield on Tuesday and did not vote.

As a poll monitor, Rose tries to help voters who encounter difficulties with their ballot.  Rose was a monitor for the Democratic Party.

Rose said this is not the first occurrence of this problem in election history.

“… It happens a lot, and it’s the result of the Department of Motor Vehicles at the Secretary of State’s office, automatically switching people’s voter registration.  They’re legally required to tell you and they don’t … There have been lawsuits in other states. There has been a lawsuit in Ohio, one in Wisconsin, one in Colorado, and there has been no lawsuit in Michigan that has challenged this.”

One of those, the swing-vote state of Ohio, is also dealing with charges of voter registration fraudulence, as reported by Newsmax on Nov. 3.

Newsmax has confirmed that investigators examined 200 potential fraudulent identifications cards coming out of Ohio.  One of those absentee registrations was issued to a Los Angeles address in the name of “John Adolf Hittler.”

Michigan State University senior Justin Sugerman, originally from Ohio, is going through his second vote with an absentee ballot.  He understands how important every vote is, with so many first-time voters on campus.

“The same thing happened in Florida, and that was a huge crisis in the 2000 election.  And with Ohio being the swing state this year, it does present a problem within itself.  The Democrats in 2008 seemed to support Obama, and I’m not sure if that is going to happen this year,” says Sugerman

“There’s different groups that are looking at it and I think there have been attempts to get this changed and the student voter issues have been very politicized in many different states,” Rose said.


One thought on “Inequality on Voting Day?

  1. Wow. This really is a problem. As a college student and political science student myself, I would have been devastated if I couldn’t vote. Just because a license expires when you get older that shouldn’t change your voter information, especially without someone being informed. I would love to hear if the student who ran into the problem confronted the Department of Motor Vehicles. Better yet I would like to know why the the Department of Motor Vehicles has this policy. Good job calling attention to an important issue. If you have any more information I would love to hear it!