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Diminished college student vote could be a problem for anti-Walker forces

Diminished college student vote could be a problem for anti-Walker forces

One big advantage Democrats in Wisconsin have is the college student vote.  These students, many of whom are from out of state and have no real connection to Wisconsin, were a big part of the Prosser-Kloppenburg turnout in Madison.  In a close election, they could be the difference.

But the June 5 recall takes place well after the end of the semester, and the Wisconsin recall movement is worried.  The out-of-staters cannot  vote in the recall once they go back to Long Island or wherever they came from, unless they have filed in time for an absentee ballot.

This also could be a problem for in-staters, if they registered in Madison, but do not re-register in their real hometown in time for the election and do not return to Madison to vote.

So the pro-recall movement it it trying to organize absentee ballots, as reflected on the Defend Wisconsin (pro-recall) website:

Students leaving Madison for the summer are encouraged to vote absentee, due to a concern that they may not have time to establish residency for 28 days as required under Wisconsin law.

While it appears the photo ID requirement is unlikely to be reinstated by the May 8 recall primary or the June 5 general recall elections, other changes in voting laws remain in place. Among the changes are the 28-day residency requirement, the elimination of the corroborating witness for voter registration, and the requirement that voters sign the poll book.

The primary date for the recall elections for the governor and some state senate districts is May 8. The general recall election will be held June 5, fewer than 28 days after the official end of spring semester exams on May 19.

Given the 28-day residency requirement, students who previously registered to vote in Madison but are leaving the city for summer break with the intention of moving back in the fall should opt to vote absentee here….

Students who are leaving Madison at the end of the semester and do not plan on returning should register to vote in their new place of residence once they have been there long enough to establish residency (28 days).

Any reports out there about how the absentee drive is going?  Also, I wonder if this has been factored into the polling.


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The fact that people with no skin in the game vote is just plain wrong. If you don’t live there, you don’t pay taxes, you will not be around when the policies you vote for take effect, then stay the hell out of local politics.

    Ragspierre in reply to Anchovy. | May 3, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Pretty much summarizes the whole enchilada.

    Milhouse in reply to Anchovy. | May 3, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    If you don’t let them vote, then by the same logic they should not be counted in the census, and the area should not get its representation increased. (This is particularly a problem in prison towns, where the prison population is used to increase the area’s representation but they are not allowed to vote. Either let them vote or stop counting them.)

      Milwaukee in reply to Milhouse. | May 3, 2012 at 11:23 pm

      “(This is particularly a problem in prison towns, where the prison population is used to increase the area’s representation but they are not allowed to vote. Either let them vote or stop counting them.)”

      My recollection is that the most recent US Census allowed communities to count their incarcerated citizens. So the city could count Milwaukeans imprisoned elsewhere. This inflates the populations of the bigger cities.

alan markus | May 3, 2012 at 5:08 pm

Back on the April 20th post here on the Recall topic, the impact of year-end at Madison was discussed. This is what I said at the time:

That’s a provocative question – Primary is May 8th; last day of exams at UW-Madison is May 19th, and Recall election is June 5th.

A few points: most of those students will probably vote for Falk (she’s from Madison) on May 8th; if she loses (highly likely), they will be dispirited and could lose interest in the remainder of the race. If she wins the primary (which would be a great outcome for Walker)it won’t make any difference how many vote, Walker wins anyway. I think it will be hard to connect with and motivate students who are already dispirited to go through the process of requesting absentee ballots & then submitting them, during the time period where they are dealing with final exams, vacating living arrangements, traveling home, reconnecting with family & friends, etc.

Looking at the “flow chart” at the link that lays out the “What”, “If”, “Then”s that must be followed, well, I see that it is going to take an incredible amount of motivation (especially if their first choice Falk does not make it out of the primary – would they even bother to vote for the fuzzy warm old guy?) to follow that process, especially since this is an election that will have no long-term relevance for the students. I predict a lot of mailed absentee ballots will sit on someone’s countertop all summer.

In any event, I hope the “I Verify” crew reconvenes to pull some hard data – where the absentee ballots were mailed to, and where they were mailed from.

Professor, Your top two (current) blog posts are a microcosm of the sorry state this country has got it self into, aren’t they? How to get students to file absentee ballots to enable them to vote in an election in a state they don’t live in (an election to reverse the results of an earlier election, no less), elimination of positive voter identification, elimination of a corroborating witness to register, and elimination of the requirement that one sign a poll book – just sashay in and cast a vote.

Then there’s the weighty question of whether a law professor (at Harvard, no less, that upstanding breeding ground of high morals and civil society), is really 1/32nd Native American, or less (or not?); and if so, why say so one time, and not another when asked; and if not, why say so at all? Given this behavior, one wonders what’s in the other 31/32nds.

Students and (with apologies) professors. What a lot.

    Milhouse in reply to Owego. | May 3, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    Owego, the elimination of the corroborating witness is a Republican improvement, not something to be lamented. Thankfully it has not been successfully challenged, and will be in place for these elections. And so will the requirement to sign the poll book, which has been introduced, not eliminated! (I don’t understand how you could have read the article and concluded that it had been eliminated.)

      Owego in reply to Milhouse. | May 3, 2012 at 11:58 pm

      Oops, you’re right.

        Milhouse in reply to Owego. | May 4, 2012 at 3:49 am

        “Corroborating witness” is a system wide open to fraud. ACORN would bring a busload of new voters to a polling place, and one witness would “corroborate” all of their claims to live where they say they do, so they all get to register and vote without having to offer any other proof, because we’re supposed to trust the “witness”. Not any more, thankfully.

      Gus Bailey in reply to Milhouse. | May 4, 2012 at 9:53 am

      The construction of the compound sentence listing the changes, by Defend Wisconsin, did leave some ambiguity for the less informed (myself included) regarding the action verbs for each clause.

      But thank you for the clarification.

I hope the Walker people make sure to have a lot of poll-watchers in precincts where the students are registered, and that they look hard at anybody who comes in to vote in a student’s name, to make sure he is the right person. I’d try to get a judge to authorise them to take pictures of each voters, in order to compare them to the yearbook and/or facebook and see whether it’s the same person. These pictures could also be compared to each other to see if the same person votes more than once. I say get a judge to authorise it, because you know that on the day the Dems will try to get a judge to restrain it, so preempt them with an order to allow you to do it. The “irreparable harm” standard clearly works in our favour, since they can’t articulate the harm that will come from allowing pictures, while we can easily articulate the harm that comes from not allowing them.

This strategy seems to be par for the course. Democrats have no compunction when they advocate to disenfranchise eligible voters. The left-wing in a Democracy, when not committing outright fraud, does everything it needs to do, including feigning concern, in order to purchase votes. In other systems, their modus operandi is somewhat more overt and explicit.

“Also, I wonder if this has been factored into the polling.”

I asked this question almost a week ago…

I got no real answer. I’ll ask again, and see what I can learn…