To the Editor:

We all have a stake in what happens in New Haven politics, and so for many of us, it has been difficult to decide whether to vote here or at home. But in making that decision, some students may have been misinformed about where, and how, they can legally vote.

Last week, one of the candidates for Ward 1 alderman asked me to consider registering and voting in New Haven. When I said that I wanted to vote at home, I was told not to worry; I could count on the notorious slowness of the New Haven registrar, who probably wouldn’t get around to un-registering me from home until after the election. I could have the best of both worlds: a vote at home and a vote in New Haven. When I asked how that could possibly be legal, I was told it was the problem of the registrar.

I am not, and never have been, affiliated with either campaign. This is not about encouraging anyone to vote for one candidate or against another. For these purposes, the candidate’s name is not even worth mentioning. This is about making sure everyone, voters and candidates alike, understands election laws and does not unknowingly break any of them on Election Day.

It takes relatively little to be able to vote in the U.S. Beyond age, citizenship and a handful of other requirements, voters only have one other obligation: they can’t claim the right to vote in more than one place. As nice as it would be to have a say in elections at home and at school, our votes should only count the way they were meant to be counted: once.

Lindsay Ullman ’08

Nov. 7, 2005