GO HUSKIES … To The Polls!

The student population of Seattle is a very large but largely voiceless population of potential voters.

The same issue confronts students in any university town, read what is happening in the District of Columbia!

From The Hoya, Newspaper of Gerogetown University DC.

DC Students Speak is a one-of-a-kind, student-based organization that looks to empower the District’s college students. The massive, underrepresented population of students that resides within D.C. faces a slew of problems.

First, they generally are not registered to vote in city elections, lending their voices little credibility. It is also an undeniable fact that the state of D.C.’s students’ political rights is in serious danger. For example, the Georgetown campus is gerrymandered so divisively that a student’s Advisory Neighborhood Commission representative depends on the dorm he or she resides in. This is where DC Students Speak comes into play, pushing for student voter registration and more political representation. Needless to say, students are fortunate to have a group like DCSS in their corner.

…..In order to fully empower students and convert their passion into tangible results, DCSS must focus on the bigger picture. That means pushing students to register to vote within D.C., which the organization has fortunately identified as a point of growth. While students make up nearly one-sixth of the population of our nation’s capital, these voices go almost unheard and remain unrepresented because students fail to register to vote. Other voter advocacy groups like the Citizens Association of Georgetown and the Burleith Citizens Association are able to attract the attention of local politicians and officials because their supporters are tax-paying voters.

Outreach to young alumni of District universities would also widen DCSS’ support base. Without the ability to leverage this large population with a soft spot for student rights, nothing will get done. To the ears of a city politician, a petition of well over 1,000 undergraduate students who cannot vote sounds more like a baby’s whine than the commanding voice of a serious political player.

But the path to voter registration is just beginning. Registering to vote in D.C. means that students have to relinquish the right to vote in their home state’s Congressional elections. Although they spend nine months of the year at school, many students still hold back in calling D.C. “home.” Registering students to vote in the District also raises some legal obstacles that will have to be overcome. For example, determining the specific addresses of each residence hall is necessary in order for students to fill out the proper paperwork.

GO HUSKIES … To The Polls!

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