I have to award the state elections board a split decision on their Watauga and Pasquotank county rulings yesterday. A leftist mob showed up — in full intimidation mode — trying to browbeat the GOP majority board into reversing decisions that (1) removed an early voting site on the campus of Appalachian State and (2) blocked an Elizabeth City State dorm-dwelling student from running for local office in Elizabeth City.
The mob had to be disappointed in the decision regarding the App campus. The county was trying to save money by consolidating three polling places into one. The voter turnout at those three precincts did not justify the cost of staffing all of them each election day.
In Pasquotank County, a dorm-dwelling student — with the pro bono assistance of some leftist screech monkey lawyers — was appealing his local board’s decision barring him from running for office. He had been voting in local elections — using his dorm room as his official address.
The GOP majority local board said living in the dorms does not qualify you as a local resident. The state board — even the Republican appointees — appallingly disagreed:
[…] North Carolina case law and U.S. Supreme Court decisions have upheld the rights of students to use their dorm addresses for voting purposes and for running for office.
Josh Howard, the Republican who leads the state elections board, said that “while this is a student challenge” it was not “dissimilar” from challenging any of the military base residents in North Carolina who sought office in their communities. He argued that trying to abridge a military base member’s bid for office would not sit well with him.[…]
What? Is this guy seriously equating this dorm-dweller with someone on Fort Bragg serving their country? I grew up in a military family, so I can offer some insight into how voting and residency are handled within that demographic. Military families, regardless of where they live, tend to maintain their residency in their state of birth. They keep auto license tags and driver licenses from that state. They pay taxes to that state, and vote by absentee in that state. Also — partisan political activity, beyond voting, by active duty military personnel is generally frowned upon by the powers-that-be.
What is the address on this student’s driver license? I’m pretty sure the DMV does not allow you to list BeerChugger Hall, Room 222, East Campus as your official place of residence on your license.
Is this student being claimed as a dependent on someone’s tax return somewhere else outside of Pasquotank County? What happened to that legislation stating that you have to VOTE where you — or your parents — pay taxes and actually live?
Case law and the general statutes may currently support this kind of ruling. But that doesn’t make it right. It’s outrageous that some kids from another county — or New Jersey, for that matter — living in the dorms, and going home each Thanksgiving, Christmas, and summer can cancel out the votes of local residents who pay local taxes and actually make the community work. It’s outrageous that those same kids can actually ride a wave of on-campus support, in a low-turnout local election, to gain a position governing the lives of actual tax-paying, property-owning residents. Vote and run for office back in your hometown.
If there is support for this kind of thing in the general statutes, it needs to be addressed post-haste by the “conservative revolution” in Raleigh. Stuff like this has helped turn really nice communities into leftist nightmares (see HILL, CHAPEL). State law may allow for this — but it doesn’t make it right. In fact, it makes a mockery of our democratic process.