Should out-of-state students vote in Indiana elections?

House Bill 1311 goes up for debate Wednesday

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - A bill will go up for debate Wednesday to decide if students who pay out-of-state tuition should be allowed to vote in Indiana’s elections.

Rep. Peggy Mayfield, R-Martinsville, has introduced the bill and expects revisions.

Students come from across the country to attend Indiana University and other colleges in the state.

Students may not be considered legitimate Hoosiers, if House Bill 1311 is enacted.

The bill sets out to restrict students who pay out-of state tuition from gaining precinct residency and having the ability to vote in state elections.

"I feel for that position, but it's not fair for me to be able to vote in local elections if they're not policies that are being applied to me," said out-of-state student Rachael Boorom.

Critics argued this republican-sponsored bill is an attempt to keep young, often liberal voters, from the polls.

Other opponents said making out-of-state students wait longer than the 30 days currently required to acquire voting rights is unconstitutional.

"I feel that if a person cares enough to get out and vote, chances are they may have done their research. So anyone who has the capacity to care and make a well-informed decision should have that right," said student Kate Altiezer.

"I do live here the majority of the year and I think I have become a part of the Bloomington community. I think I've educated myself to become a community member, so I think I should have the ability to vote here, " said out-of state student Claire Houterman.

"I'm a Hoosier, I go to Indiana University so I'm a Hoosier, but I'm not an Indiana resident and think the two are different," said Boorom.

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