3/02/2008

So much for claims that there is no vote fraud

There seems to be all sorts of people willing to supply false IDs to potential voters. If this school can print up "utility bills" to give "students from out of state," who can't print up utility bills to give potential voters? Obviously students whose residency is in another state are not eligible to vote. If the students had changed their residency, there wouldn't be any problem for them to vote.

School Sends Blank Utility Bills To Help Students Vote

Friday, Feb 29, 2008 - 03:20 PM

By Associated Press
OBERLIN, Ohio -- Oberlin College has come up with a creative way for students from out of state to show they reside in Ohio, so they can vote.
The college in northern Ohio is sending out dummy utility bills to dorm residents. There are no charges for students to pay for their phone and high-speed Internet connections, but there's a bold-faced note at the bottom saying the statement can serve as proof of ID at a polling place.
The arrangement got a blessing from the state's top election official.
Colin Koffel from Madison, Wis., says he and other out-of-state students at Oberlin were frustrated when the state's new voter ID requirements took effect in 2006. But he says they can now register to vote and go to the polls without jumping through complex hoops.


UPDATE: Some have claimed in the comments that the school's policy is just "a creative solution" to help legitimate voters vote. The problem is that most people who get utility bills really do have Ohio as their state of residence. Students are different. At a school like Oberlin (a private school), my guess is that the vast majority of students are from out of state and have kept their residency in their home states. If they had gone through the process of getting a driver's license and other things to change their residency, they wouldn't need to have this utility bill to vote. For those whose residency is in another state, these utility bills makes fraud much easier in that they can easily vote in two states, but even if they are not doing that, they are still not legally able to vote.

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6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

So can they also submit an absentee ballot back to their home state?

3/02/2008 4:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course they can't vote twice.

And what does any of this have to do with vote fraud? These students have the legal right to vote where they live most of the year. The school is simply certifying that they pay utilities as part of their tuition. This has been certified as perfectly legal by the Secretary of State.

3/02/2008 5:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does this mean that they can use the same documentation to apply for an Ohio concealed carry license and purchase handguns? I wonder why I have this nagging suspicion that this sort of consistency wouldn't apply. Perhaps because I've seen the same sort of thing here in the People's Republic of Massachusetts.

3/02/2008 5:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where's the fraud? I see the college offering a creative solution to a poorly conceived "one-size-fits-all" government regulation which assumes everyone gets a utility bill. Election officials apparently agree that there is nothing wrong with this solution that the College has pursued.

Utility bills actually make very poor ids anyway. They are easy to forge with a computer and printer.

3/02/2008 6:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My parents have 2 houses in two different states. They live 6 months down south to escape the cold winters and 6 months up north to escape the hot summers. They get utility bills at both houses. Does this mean that they get to vote twice? ;-)

3/02/2008 11:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds to me like the utility bill id requirement has kept people from being able to vote in Oberlin in the past. A security system should not get in the way of legal voters from being able to vote. That's just plain wrong.

http://www.chroniclet.com/2008/03/01/10976

Moran credited Jose Candelario, director of the Lorain County Elections Board, to being open to the idea of the bills as a way to solve the thorny problem of identification.

In some past recent elections, students who only had driver’s licenses from their home states had to vote provisionally and it took days to finalize results, Moran said.

Politics student Colin Koffel said the bills could save students from a lot of headache in Tuesday’s primary and the November general election.

“It’s absurd how much we have to do in order to vote,” said Koffel, of Madison, Wis.

He was a freshman in November 2004 when elections officials here and at other Ohio colleges came under attack for massive waits at polls.

“It was kind of a tragic and beautiful experience — we had to stand in line for up to eight hours,” said Koffel, who is involved in a non-partisan coalition of students stressing the right to vote.

3/03/2008 12:12 AM  

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