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Faculty encourages student voting

Kim Schmitz

Features Editor

With a vital election fast approaching, some members of the college are working hard to encourage students to vote.

“The College’s position is if you are 18 years old or older, it is your right, it is your responsibility, to vote,” says Dean Carolyn Buxton, Senior Associate Dean of Students.

The biggest issue that students are faced with is whether to vote in Wooster or at home. If students choose to register in Wooster, they recognize Wooster as their home and must make their dorm room address their official permanent address. This takes away their ability to vote for state senators, representatives, and local issues outside of Ohio.

On the other hand, if the vote for president is their top priority, students may find it wise to register in Ohio, a critical swing state. With 18 electoral votes, Ohio has voted for the winning presidential candidate in all but one election since 1944.

The primary objective of the registration efforts on campus is simply to make students able to vote, regardless of where they choose to do so, insists Dr. Denise Bostdorff, Communication studies professor.

Students receive a letter at the beginning of the school year urging them that if they want to vote at home, to take care of the registration before coming to school. If they want to vote in Wooster, there are plenty of resources which will answer questions and help them register.

Registration forms are located in several public campus spaces upon request, including Dr. Bostdorff’s office in Wishart 103. Additionally, booths will be set up at campus gatherings such as sporting events and Scot Spirit Day, according to Dean Buxton.

The college is under obligation to make a “good faith effort” to make it possible for students to register to vote by the 1998 re-authorization of the federal Higher Education Act.

Once registered in Wooster, students will receive a letter detailing which precinct they are assigned to. If they vote on Election Day, proof of residency at the listed dorm room address is required. Students can request this from the college in advance, and will receive it in the form of a letter. Dean Buxton suggests, however, that students vote early (in which case proof of residency is not required). Transportation to the Board of Elections will be available.

Some students have expressed concern that certain states have recently chosen to require a valid state ID upon voting, essentially meaning that students who are from out of state often do not have the opportunity to vote in the state in which they go to school.

Although some Ohio counties have tried to enact this policy, Ohio as a state does not currently allow any precinct to require a state ID, according to Dr. Bostdorff.

“For the time period that students are here, there are lots of [local issues] that do affect them,” says Dr. Bostdorff. Students can access information about these issues and all voting inquiries, including possible times to vote early, at votewayne.org.

“I am incredibly dedicated…every person who wants to vote should vote,” urged Dr. Bostdorff.

Dean Buxton added, “we are encouraging everyone to be responsible, exercise this right, register and then vote.”

 

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