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February 11, 2004

Memo to politicians: Don't talk down to students

I'm sick and tired of politicians who complain that students don't get involved in politics, especially when they pass laws to make sure students don't vote. This new law in Georgia that requires a utility bill to register to vote excludes students who live in dormitories ten months out of the year. I don't hear county commissioners whining about students when they're begging students to fill out U.S. census forms at their university addresses so the university town can get federal funds. Students come out to vote for the people who talk about their issues. But "student issues" isn't just more federal student aid programs. It's progressive policies and issues that don't occur to our parents. Start talking about cutting edge issues - global warming, privacy on the internet, new problems in national security - and you'll get students engaged. Doug knows better than to talk down to students, which is why they come out to support him. -- Matt Edwards

February 11, 2004 in Students and Politics | Permalink


I remember a certain politician who showed up a few hours late to a debate against his opponent at the University of Georgia. Not surprisingly, he lost the election.

Posted by: Martin Matheny at Feb 11, 2004 6:51:57 PM

That new law that requires a utility bill in order to vote also excludes the vast majority of minorities who are living in non-nuclear homes where the utility bill is in ONE name. Typically, African American families continue to live in homes where more than one adult resides. White families tend to disburse and do the nuclear family thing. This bill appears to attempt to exclude African Americans from the voting process. I don't think it has as much to do with college students as you think.


Posted by: Genia at Feb 14, 2004 1:04:31 AM

I imagine that the utility bill thing has to do with excluding a lot of groups (including students, African-Americans, nontraditional families, etc) that aren't usually prone to pony up those $2000 checks that our establishment politicians are so fond of. Just a thought.

Posted by: Martin at Feb 14, 2004 11:34:52 AM

I think it would be a good idea here to brainstorm a bit on strategies students and others can use to get around the new voter registration restrictions...For instance, I imagine students living in on-campus dorms can probably use some sort of documentation from their student housing registration to register vote, etc....I think it should be a big priority to get out the student vote this year...

Posted by: Jason Rosenberg at Feb 19, 2004 1:29:04 PM

In this campaign, getting out the student vote will be a huge priority, as well as getting out the suburban vote, the African-American vote, the senior citizen vote...on second thought, let's just say that getting out the vote, period, is our priority.
There are a ton of people out there who have a voice but they aren't speaking out, because they feel that their vote doesn't count, that the establishment isn't working for them. That's what this campaign is about. Its what being a true progressive is about.


Posted by: Martin Matheny at Feb 19, 2004 1:39:09 PM