This year James Madison University freshman Whitney Eagleson was supposed to vote in her first presidential election. She was so eager to cast her ballot that she tried to register in Harrisonburg three times. But when Nov. 4 rolled around, she wasnt lining up outside the elementary schools to vote.
It would have been the first time I was able to vote, she said. She realized during her history class that she wasnt alone in not being denied registration in Harrisonburg. We talked about it in my class, and I wasnt the only one.
Eagleson is one of many JMU students who were not able to vote in the 2008 presidential race because of various problems with their registration forms. The common problem appears to have been students trying to use JMUs generic 800 South Main St. address, without including the name of their dorms.
The only students that were denied were those that didnt give their dorm, said Debbie Logan, Harrisonburgs registrar. Theres no official number of students who were denied because they used the JMU mailing address, however, 1,300 of those who did were able to vote.
Eagleson was also among students who ran into trouble because they tried to register through third party registration groups.
Logan said that some of the groups did not hand in student applications and were not well informed of the registration process.
The ones I couldnt help were those on campus going through third people, Logan said. But we take the heat for it because ultimately those people got rejected from this office.Evidently being unable to vote was a problem for students across the state.
The American Civil Liberty Union is offering legal assistance for Radford University students, because the college was not allowing students, who wanted to vote in the city, to use their dorms as an official residence onvoter registration forms.