Election officials telling college students they can't vote
WASHINGTON — Colorado Democrats accused a Republican county clerk Wednesday of falsely informing Colorado College that students from outside the state could not register to vote if their parents claimed them as a dependent on their tax returns.
At a news conference in Colorado Springs, Democrats also criticized Robert Balink, the El Paso County clerk and recorder, who was a delegate to the Republican National Convention, for taking other steps they said would dampen voting by college students, who are expected to heavily favor Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.
"When election officials spread false information about who is eligible to vote and remove, not add, polling places, we need to be concerned that eligible voters will be denied their right to vote," said Pat Waak, chairwoman of the Colorado Democratic Party.
Balink issued a statement saying his office had misinterpreted state law and “mistakenly published information that was incorrect.”
Balink's actions are the latest of several instances in which local election officials, including some in Virginia and South Carolina, have discouraged college students from voting in a year in which legions of students have thrown their energy behind Obama.
Discovery of these restrictions comes as Democrats have increasingly accused Republicans of using an array of tactics to suppress the Democratic voter turnout in the November election.