To the Editor:
Re: “Voting at Home, in Ithaca,” Opinion, Sept. 19
As a sophomore here at Cornell, and someone who has recently registered to vote (absentee I might add), it was interesting to read about the dilemma of registering here at Cornell, or back at home. I am from Soldotna, Alaska, a small town two and a half hours away from Anchorage. I wholeheartedly agree that voting becomes more convoluted and confusing the farther away from your hometown you are, however, I still could not bring myself to sever my ties with my state and register to vote here in Ithaca, my home for only a mere four years.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I agree that Cornellians should be involved and active in the surrounding area, not just the campus. Even so, registering to vote, though a simple process, can make for complicated residence issues back home. Though the issues and the candidates’ motives are not immediately apparent when college students are far from home, being able to participate in your own hometown election and make a difference to your own community is a big deal. Being able to vote for my mayor, and my school district is something I take pride in. For me, an Alaskan who receives a Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) each year, any proof of absence from the state for an extended period of time, including registering to vote in a different state, will keep an Alaskan resident from receiving their PFD for the year.
As you can see, I obviously have a problem with not receiving the “free” money my state provides. The only solution to this would be for college students to be able to register in two towns at once, without government issues. What needs to be established are separate town, state and national voting systems which would allow students to vote in their own home elections the presidential elections, and the community elections of their college. Not only would a new system benefit students, but citizens who have dual residencies for the winter and summer as well.
Madelynn Tice ’15