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Group discusses voting

Megan Doyle | Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Voter registration and education on local political issues will create positive channels between Notre Dame students and the surrounding area, student body president Catherine Soler told Campus Life Council (CLC) Monday.

Social Concerns chair Pat McCormick said the Center for Social Concerns and student government teamed up to get students involved in the election.

CLC members supported the campaign to vote in local elections and learn more about important issues in the South Bend community.

“We have put a lot of time and energy into this issue,” Soler said. “Voter registration gives us some of the best opportunities for community involvement.”

Recent negative energy between Notre Dame students and South Bend Police created tensions that could be helped if members of the community see the student body reaching them through  the elections, Soler said.

“We are encouraging students to take full membership in the community,” McCormick said.

Finding the best way for each student to participate in the local community is the most important part of this project, Soler said.

“What we are doing is essentially a three-tier process,” McCormick said.

The campaign broke into components of education, registration of Indiana voters and involvement of out-of-state students in local elections, he said.

“First, we are encouraging all students regardless of their state of residency to learn about the issues that affect us most,” McCormick said. “Education for voters is a huge part of this idea.”

Second, students who are Indiana residents are strongly encouraged to register to vote and learn about dominant issues in their home state, he said.

Third, out-of-state students can legally switch their permanent residence to Indiana in order to vote in local elections, McCormick said, but this change might cause problems post-graduation based on state policies. Some students might find the transition back to their home state more difficult after switching their permanent residency to Indiana, he said.

“Students who are interested in that route should get advice from someone trained in legal issues to find out what that change would look like for them,” McCormick said.