Student votes count
To the Editors:
Students Mobilizing for Election Day is a non-partisan organization. I applaud their efforts but write as a partisan convinced that the Bush Administration pursues the most destructive policies, domestically and globally, of my lifetime. I want them out. Oberlin students have the opportunity to make this a one-term Presidency if they organize not only on the Oberlin campus, but work with others throughout the state.
As everyone knows, Ohio is a key swing state. In 2000, Bush got 2,294,167 votes to Gore’s 2,117,741 votes (Nader took 114,482), winning the state by a margin of 176,426. How can college students turn the tables in 2004? By getting students to register to vote in Ohio.
There are approximately 450,000 students in Ohio public institutions of higher education and about 123,000 in independent colleges and universities. Of course these are not all Democrats, but Oberlin students know better than I do what is the mood on campuses. All I know is that I saw many students carrying Ohio banners at the April 25th march in Washington, DC and believe that student organizing can make the difference in Ohio.
What is needed to register? Proof of US citizenship, Ohio residency, proof of age (18 years or older). (Also, you cannot have been convicted of a felony or currently incarcerated and you must not have been found incompetent by a court for purposes of voting.) To prove residency, you need a copy of a utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document showing name and address. Citizens can register up to thirty days before the November 2, 2004 election.
It’s easy to learn how to register voters. What’s harder is organizing across the state of Ohio. But if you and others start to organize, I believe you will find many, like myself, willing to help.
Let’s not see another election like the one in 2000. College turnout was low that year; nationally only 36% of 18-24 year-olds voted. That’s disgraceful.
College students can make the difference in Ohio. And Ohio can make the difference in November.