Should college students be allowed to vote on local elections in the town where they attend school?
People have argued for years that students who don’t live full-time where they attend college could unfairly sway some races. Residency is one issue at stake in a La Crosse county lawsuit scheduled to be heard again on Friday by a local judge.
Jay Heck of Wisconsin Common Cause believes that some Republicans want to restrict the ability of students to vote in certain races, such as for county sheriff, “because they figure that the fewer number of people that vote in Wisconsin, or any other state in the country, the better it is for Republicans.”
“Well, that’s a pretty profoundly sad reason, for you to be in public office or running to hold public office,” Heck tells WIZM. Common Cause has declared it is an interested party in the case.
The local suit questioning La Crosse County election procedures was filed after last November’s race for sheriff. Judge Elliott Levine could issue a ruling in favor of the citizen who filed the suit, or favoring the county clerk’s office. County officials are seeking dismissal of the suit, in which county clerk Ginny Dankmeyer is listed as the main defendant.
The plaintiff, citizen Mary Jo Werner, does not dispute that John Siegel was the winner over Fritz Leinfelder in the vote for sheriff. Rather, Werner is challenging the transparency of how the county clerk carried out the recount. Friday’s scheduled hearing comes exactly nine months to the day after the county conducted the recount for sheriff.