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AZ: Election Officials’ Misstatements Lead to Student Voter Suppression

Leading a campus-wide coalition of student groups, the University of Arizona Network of Feminist Student Activists demanded in a press release yesterday that the Pima County Registrar’s Office and the Secretary of State correct erroneous statements made by the County Registrar’s spokesperson on Fox News that out-of-state students who do not plan on staying in Arizona after graduation were not eligible to register and vote. The students also requested that a correction be run by the Fox-11 News at Nine reporter, Natalie Tejeda, who suggested that students were committing an “unintentional felony” by registering out-of-state students during a Get Out HER Vote event on campus organized by the NFSA, an affiliate of the Feminist Majority Foundation. “The Pima County Recorder is simply wrong, and they must retract and correct their inaccurate and intimidating statements about out-of-state students’ rights to register in Arizona,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation. “Voting is a federal right, and the rights of students to vote where they attend college are guaranteed by federal law.” The controversy arose August 31 when the Network of Feminist Student Activists organized Suffrage 2004: Get Out HER Vote, a massive student voter registration initiative aimed at registering and mobilizing young women on campus to vote. The Fox News reporter repeatedly questioned NFSA student leaders Kelly Kraus and Julianna Zuccaro whether they knew they might be committing an “unintentional felony” by registering out-of-state students. Kraus and Zucarro protested and challenged the accuracy of the Fox News reporter’s statements and were surprised to see the story run both that evening and the following morning. According to Arizona and national voting rights attorneys engaged by the Feminist Majority Foundation, not only has the United States Supreme Court (US v. Symm) expressly ruled that college communities must allow students to register to vote there, but the Voting Rights Act Amendments of 1970 specifically prohibit states from establishing “durational residency” requirements. LEARN MORE about the Feminist Majority Foundation’s Get Out Her Vote campaign DONATE to the Feminist Majority Foundation’s Get Out Her Vote campaign

Sources:

Feminist Majority Press Release 9/8/04

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