Students Say State Budget Provision Would Stifle College Vote

More than 100 votes in the 2012 Presidential election have been turned over to law enforcement for investigation.(Photo: WOSU)
More than 100 votes in the 2012 Presidential election have been turned over to law enforcement for investigation.(Photo: WOSU)

Some Ohio State University students say a provision added to the state budget is an attempt to snuff out the college vote.

Ohio universities often issue students proof of residency letters to help them vote. Many of these students are from out of state or another county.
The provision would make students who receive these letters eligible for in-state tuition, which could cost Ohio colleges millions of dollars.

The measure’s proponents say it would give students better tuition rates.

But OSU senior Kenneth Meyers, of Kansas, said that is the wrong way to go about reducing tuition. And Kenneth said he fears universities will stop providing the documentation.

“If they find out they can’t vote here in Ohio then maybe they’ll miss the deadline and they can’t vote in their home state. So, this should be something we celebrate and make easily accessible,” Meyers said.

OSU junior Michael Flannagan, of Maryland, said the provision is a blatant attempt to stifle the college vote.

“We are subject to the same laws in Ohio. We are subject to the same taxes, to the same sales taxes, we are subject to the same rules of Ohio. Try to use money as an excuse to take away our right to vote is wrong.”

Ohio State said it continues to analyze the measure. University spokeswoman Gayle Saunders said “the financial impact to OSU would be of concern to us.”

Last fall, nearly 1,200 out-of-state freshmen were enrolled at OSU.

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