Saturday, December 01, 2007

Yepsen Doesn't Think Iowa's Out-of-State College Students Should Caucus

The Des Moines Register wrote back in October about how the January 3rd Caucuses will affect Iowa's college students...

Sarah Sunderman, a senior at Iowa State University, said she will drive back early from her home in Minnesota to take part in the Jan. 3 caucuses. She is one of about 21,000 out-of-state students who attend Iowa's public universities. As a member of her school's Democratic student group, she sees the date as a challenge.
Unfortunately, David Yepsen doesn't think Iowa's out-of-state college students like Sarah Sunderman should be allowed to caucus. Yepsen has an article yesterday questioning Obama's strategy to encourage Iowa college students who are from outside of Iowa to come back and caucus.
While it’s legal for college students to register to vote in Iowa to do that, this raises the question of whether it’s fair, or politically smart. No presidential campaign in memory has ever made such a large, open attempt to encourage students from out of state, many of whom pay out-of-state tuition, to participate in the caucuses. No other campaign appears to be doing it in this campaign cycle.

That’s fine but these are the Iowa caucuses. Asking people who are “not from Iowa” to participate in them changes the nature of the event...

But turning out-of-state college students into Iowa voters is a different, larger, matter. Thousands of votes are involved and it risks offending long-time Iowa residents.

But, then, they do politics a little differently in Illinois than they do in Iowa.
Yepsen flat out says that it is legal for these college students to caucus then condemns these college students for considering coming back to Iowa over their holiday break to caucus. These students are residents of Iowa for at least 10 months of the year and many stay in the state over the summer to work and take classes.

The fact that Obama is from Illinois and a large number of the out-of-state students that attend college in Iowa are from Illinois is merely a coincidence. The bottom line is that there is no reason these students should not be allowed to caucus.

No comments: