Voting Bill Could Impact Student Voters

By: Mary Pulley
By: Mary Pulley

A bill is in the works to address several voting issues in Virginia. If it passes, some of those who will be impacted the most are college students.

This bill would put changes in place that stipulates a person must live in a particular locality with an intent to live there for an unlimited time to be eligible to vote in Virginia.

This will certainly effect students who don't plan to stay beyond their education.

"One of the purposes of the bill is to make sure that only Virginia residents are the people who are voting in Virginia local, state, and federal elections," says Republican Del. Clay Athey (18th District) who is one of the patrons of the bill.

The portion of the bill that asks for clarification on residency wasn't aimed at students in particular. It was aimed at reducing election fraud, especially since the Commonwealth became a battleground state last year.

"The reality is, when a state becomes that kind of state, there is a temptation on the part of both parties to try to turn out as many votes as possible," says Athey.

Local lawmakers don't want the Commonwealth to experience some of the same problems as other states that deal with high voter fraud and voter recounts.

Athey says the bill isn't necessarily intended for students from Virginia who move to another part of the state for school.

He says, "Theoretically you could establish your domicile in Harrisonburg for school, then certainly you can do that as oppose to moving back to your parents house in Front Royal. That happens too and I don't think anything about those regulations prohibit that."


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