Requiring students to vote





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Discus: Parents Forum: 2004 Archive - Part 2: Requiring students to vote
By Rhonda63 (Rhonda63) on Thursday, September 23, 2004 - 11:09 am: Edit

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/09/22/nyregion/22drew.html

Article on Drew U prof who makes voting a requirement for students in her class. Penalty is an inclination to grade their work more harshly, it sounds like. Also, after much criticism she revised the requirement to be just that you have to enter the voting booth (you are free not to pull the lever (or touch the screen as the case may be)). Non-US citizens are exempt.

I understand her goals here, but I would oppose this.

By Emeraldkity4 (Emeraldkity4) on Thursday, September 23, 2004 - 11:20 am: Edit

I would be against making voting mandatory, however I would be for tying graduation/GED from high school
to getting a drivers liscense. If the student passes drivers ed and is enrolled in school at 16 then they can have a conditional liscense, but upon 18 if not on track to graduate/dropped out, they would have to appeal.

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Thursday, September 23, 2004 - 11:20 am: Edit

Rhonda, I'm with you on this. I do not think it is appropriate that she REQUIRE students to vote. While I certainly believe it is very crucial to our demcracy that citizens vote, we are a free country where that is an OPTION, not a requirement. That's why it is a democracy!

In any case, I think she is going about it all wrong. I think her strong viewpoint that students should vote is certainly admirable and appropriate but there are other ways to encourage this. One is that she can center classroom discussions on the importance of voting in our democracy. She could even run a van for her students to the polls to make it easier to vote. But joining in should be an option. I think it is inappropriate for her to know whether kids actually did vote or not. Her job is to encourage it and have discourse on the issue. But we are still free in our country to make the choice regarding voting. If she felt that students were open to voting but just being lackadasical about the logistics and getting around to it, she could do things to make it easier for them to vote (such as the transportation).

Susan

By Marite (Marite) on Thursday, September 23, 2004 - 11:33 am: Edit

I think this prof is setting herself up for a lawsuit on First Amendment grounds and possibly other grounds. It is really unprofessional.

By Mini (Mini) on Thursday, September 23, 2004 - 11:33 am: Edit

Vote early and often, I always say.

(I voted last Tuesday in our local primary, and my ballot was covered with HANGING CHAD!)

By Iflyjets (Iflyjets) on Friday, September 24, 2004 - 04:11 pm: Edit

Emerald,

What about those student's who are not yet 16 when they graduate fro HS? In your plan, would they be exceptions to the rule?

As for this professor, what about those students who vote by absentee ballot in their home states? Are they required to "show" the professor their completed ballot (an absolutely illegal act since voting choice is confidental if you choose)? I would hope not!!!

I strongly agree that every citizens should vote...it is a priviledge many ancestors died for and too many people ignore. But, we are a free country and requiring a student to vote, to exercise this priviledge or to even require the "appearance" of voting undermines the very freedom that is at the foundation of this priviledge. Our right to vote does NOT give others the right to make us do so!!

My D is not of voting age, but she would be mounting a campaign against any professor that required her to do so; freedom of choice means freedom to choose. And I agree with Marite; I'd love to see the law suit on this one!!!

By Emeraldkity4 (Emeraldkity4) on Friday, September 24, 2004 - 04:15 pm: Edit

well if they aren't 16, but they have a diploma, they don't have to worry. Same thing if they get a GED ( some states allow at 16)
My thinking was giving kids extra motivation to stay in school/graduate.
Personally I don't think some of them should be allowed to have their liscence till 21, but I don't think they should be allowed to enroll in the military till then either.
The voting tie in seems illegal.
Voting is a right not a requirement, and should be private.
I believe in voting very much, I even volunteer as a pollworker cause they are so desperate in our area, but you can't force people to vote.( nor can you keep them from voting)

By Backhandgrip (Backhandgrip) on Friday, September 24, 2004 - 09:23 pm: Edit

Just another example about how the privacy has gone out of voting.It's nobody's business but your own!

By Baltodad (Baltodad) on Saturday, September 25, 2004 - 07:11 am: Edit

The requirement is to go to the polling place and into a voting booth, thus seeing how the whole process works. I have no problem with that.

How is this different from an art teacher requiring a visit to the museum?

Even if the requirement had been to actually VOTE, a blank ballot (or write-ins for Daffy Duck, et al.) has always been a voter's option.

By Garland (Garland) on Saturday, September 25, 2004 - 08:29 am: Edit

As Baltodad said, there is no requirement to vote, just to visit the voting booth, and compliance is by honor system.

I don't like it myself, because I don't like any idea of force included with voting, but my mostly inner city students were surprisingly positive about it. In fact, this is the first year in the almost twenty I've taught in this school (in NJ but definitely not Drew) that they seem interssted in politics, so that's a positive in itself.

By Toblin (Toblin) on Saturday, September 25, 2004 - 09:50 am: Edit

Sometimes NOT voting IS a vote.

By Marite (Marite) on Saturday, September 25, 2004 - 10:06 am: Edit

Any requirement must be equally applicable to all students in a course. If non-US citizens cannot visit the voting booth, this is a requirement that should not be part of the course.


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