Fwd: Re: Student voter registration
schweber at polisci.wisc.edu
Fri Oct 31 19:03:21 PDT 2008
Based on my experience, I find it impossible to believe that most of
> the 85% of out of staters IN FACT intend to make their permanent
> homes specifically in Ohio.
Quite right! The problem is that 85% of the out of staters equally have
no intention of making their permanent homes in the states in which
their parents reside, and intend to reside in Ohio for a period of years.
So, Prof. Malz, what exactly is your argument about these students?
Now, I don't teach at Kenyon College. Where I teach, we have 40,000
students. What is your argument about them?
I'm not trying to be provocative, I really don't get it. At Kenyon
College, I am willing to assume, there are more than 1,000 students from
states other than Ohio. These students intend to reside in Ohio for a
period or 2-4 additional years. They have no intention of ever residing
in their parents' home states.
At my university we have 40,000 students. Something like 10,000 of
those are from other states. For the sake of argument, I will assume
that none of these students intend to remain in Wisconsin past the next
3-5 years. For the sake of argument, you must assume that none of these
10,000 students intend to return to live in their parents' home states.
So . . .what is your point, exactly? That these students should not be
allowed to vote anywhere, that these students should be allowed to vote
in their parents' home states -- say, Ohio -- right up until the age of
50 or 60 if necessary?
Here's another question. There are 1,000+ students from out-of-state at
Kenyon College. How many children of Ohio parents are in colleges at
other states? If there are, say, 20,000, are you perfectly willing to
let them all come back and vote in Ohio?
What about people like myself, who were a full ten years away from our
parents' homes before we found anything like a permanent home. Do you
really want to say that offspring of Ohio parents who have not set foot
in the state in ten years should be counted as Ohio voters? I don't
know the numbers, but I should think it possible that if your rule were
adopted it would be a net loss for McCain, as every person whose parents
live in Ohio and who has not yet established common law domicile
anywhere else would be entitle to vote in Ohio's election. Including
persons who have not so much as seen Ohio in years. Under what possible
theory of democracy or citizenship does this make any sense??
Finally, what outcome it that you are after? Do you envision a
situation of disenfranchising millions of American citizens? I find
that awfully unlikely; I assume that you, like the rest of us, are
working from a premise that every citizen gets to vote *somewhere.* So
. . . what model do you have in mind? Do you envision a situation in
which hundreds of thousands of Americans will vote in state elections
concerning states with which they have had no contact in years or
decades? I find that plausible, but deeply dispiriting. Take
California's Proposition 8. You really want to insist that every
college student in America whose parents reside in California should be
allowed to vote on this question, along with everyone whose last
"indefinite" residence was California? I don't know the numbers, but
I'm guessing it's enough to turn the outcome from one result to
another. All by virtue of the votes of persons who do not consider
California home, have no plans of spending time there except on
vacation, and have no plans to be employed, pay taxes, own property, or
establish familial relations in California. And yet, by your theory,
they should be legally required to have the authority to vote in
California's elections and be legally barred from voting in elections in
the states where their children go to school, the earn and pay taxes on
a salaray, and the own a house.
With due respect, sir, I think you are so completely caught up in the
immediate calculation of partisan advantage in the case of a particular
school in a particular state that you are not thinking about the
consequences of extending your argument as a doctrinal proposition.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the Conlawprof