SEPTEMBER 22, 2008
Taking orders from Barack Obama’s campaign, election officials in a crucial battleground state are waving procedures for registering new voters even though doing so violates state election laws.
The Democratic presidential candidate complained that college students—a demographic that he says ardently supports him—in Norfolk Virginia were discouraged from registering to vote because they had to complete a questionnaire to determine residency.
Virginia law requires local registrars throughout the state to decide eligibility based on residency and the questionnaire was designed by the state elections office to confirm where the new voters live.
In Norfolk many college students come from out of state and must register to vote in their home districts. Case in point; a student from Georgia who registered to vote in Virginia yet pays out-of-state tuition there, is declared as a dependent in Georgia and has a Georgia driver’s license and car registration. Norfolk’s general registrar believes these out-of-state students are not automatically Virginians.
The registrar admitted that, in waving the residency form, students’ residency status cannot be confirmed. In fact, the Norfolk Electoral Board issued a statement admitting that eliminating the questionnaire allows students to claim Virginia residency unchallenged and that waving it is in fact out of compliance with Virginia election laws.
Whey, then, are election officials in the city of about 239,000 residents allowing a political campaign to dictate a crucial policy that has been established by state law?
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