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The Board of Elections is wrong to assert that I contend that as a “precondition to voting, students must pay taxes or obtain a local driver’s license” (Loose Lips, 11/8). Those are their words, not mine. In fact, you must be a resident of the District in order to vote in the District.
Close to 1,000 Georgetown students registered to vote in our neighborhood election on Nov. 5. The students registered to vote because they are unhappy with legislation passed by the D.C. Council to give parking relief to residents. The legislation requires students to register their cars in the District before obtaining a neighborhood parking sticker to park on our residential streets. The students were bused from the campus to the polls every 15 minutes and voted out of office the chairman of our neighborhood commission, Beverly Jost.
It is clear that you must be a resident of the District in order to vote in the District. The students contend that they can have the privilege of voting without the responsibilities of residencyi.e., paying taxes, registering their cars, etc. If the students are residents of the District (they must have abandoned their former domiciles), they should be allowed to vote. But the board of elections should not permit nonresidents to make the votes of residents who live here worthless.
It is important to our neighborhoods, the integrity of the voting process, and the financial well-being of the District that residency requirements be strictly enforced. Residents are eligible for numerous public subsidies, such as free public schooling and reduced tuition at UDC. If the right to vote is not specifically tied to residency and domicile, as the law requires, the District of Columbia will continue to lose significant revenue to persons who actually reside in other jurisdictions.
Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2E