Fear, uncertaintly, and doubt: Voter registration shenanagains at Virginia Tech.

Sep 08, 2008

During the last presidential election, numerous dirty tricks were played in the weeks and months prior to votes being cast by anyone, such as absentee balllots not making it into the mail, voters being forced to wait so long that they couldn't cast their votes (because they had families to take care of or work to attend to), and unusual investigations were carried out that scared away potential voters. Many voters were wrongfully turned away at the polls in some areas. If what happened at Virginia Tech not too long ago is any indication, the political black ops are just beginning.

If you went to college in the past decade or so, chances are you were given the opportunity to register to vote in case you hadn't already during orientation or in the first week or two of classes. Last month, much the same thing happened at Virginia Tech, with one crucial difference: the local registrar of elections released a pair of fraudulent press releases which predicted serious consequences for registering. Among the wholly fictitious downfalls to registering to vote in the United States were that students doing so would lose their financial aid, that they could lose scholarships or health insurance, or even that they could no longer be claimed as dependents on their parents' tax returns, which would result in taxes due going up under the guise of changing legal residence without notifying the proper authorities. In fact, it was reported by the Montgomery County registrar that an unknown number of students cancelled their voting registrations out of fear due to this.

For the record, none of these things are possible. This is nothing but a scare tactic. If you live on campus you can receive mail there, but you do not need to legally change your place of residence unless you move there on a year-round basis (i.e., you've moved out of the house and gotten your own doss someplace). If you're not registered to vote, it isn't hard to do so. If you read my weblog you're a Google search away from the information.

Voting is your way of making your voice heard in the running of the United States. Don't be silent.