Ames, Ia. - Efforts to inspire, encourage and cajole young Iowa voters to attend the 2008 presidential caucuses have lost some - but not all - of their steam with the news that Iowa's marquee event will occur when most college students are away on winter break.
This is a problem?? Are you kidding me?? Actual Iowa college-age voters can register to vote at their permanent address and go to the caucus with their neighbors or parents. If their permanent address is at school, they can toddle back early from wherever they're binge-drinking and resume drinking on the 4th. The Wisconsin and Texas voters quoted in the article can participate in their states' primaries.
And people who are surely educated enough to know better think schools should open just so people who do not live in Iowa can participate in the caucus. Intentionally voting out of your district is fraud, people! (Dan Savage didn't go to jail, but he should have) The caucus workers are supposed to check your voter registration--there is no same-day registration in Iowa, although anyone with a valid registration is allowed to change party affiliation at the door--and if you're not registered in the precinct they're supposed to show you back out.
I was an ISU student in 2000--and Ames was my permanent address, since my parents kicked me out years before--and several precincts held their caucus in one of the engineering buildings. When people walked into the wrong room because they wanted to vote with their friends, they were sent down the hall to the correct precinct.
This all feeds into my general annoyance with unprosecuted fraud from 2000 and 2004, where thousands of students in Milwaukee and Iowa (and probably schools around the nation, those are just the places I was reading newspapers in those years) admitted to pollsters that they illegally voted twice after registering their campus and parents' addresses. Numbers-wise it's on a par with buses going district to district, but since most states don't cross-check voter rolls across county or state lines, it's easier to keep under the radar...
The other part of the article that annoys me is the whining about having to beg people who don't really care about the race to show up. We're all better off when only people who are informed go participate--caucuses, primaries, and general elections. The American people are not served by sheeple checking the box they're told to.