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Haight

Haight

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Published by Rick Karlin

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Published by: Rick Karlin on Oct 16, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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01/23/2013

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October11,2012
NYCLU
BR"ENN.ANCENTERFORIJSTICE
NEWYORKCIVILLIBERTIESUNION
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CommissionerErikJ.HaightDutchessCountyBoardofElections47CannonStreetPoughkeepsie,NewYork12601DearCommissionerHaight:WehavebeeninformedthatyouaretakingthepositionthatstudentsattendingtheCulinaryInstituteofAmericaandBardCollegewhoarelivingindormitoriesandseektoregistertovotefromtheirdormitoryresidencesmustidentifythenamesoftheirdormitoriesontheirvoterregistrationformsandthatthefailuretodosowillresultinthedisqualificationoftheirregistrations.WearefurtherinformedthatCommissionerKnapptakesthepositionthatthosestudentswhohaveidentifiedthestreetaddressesoftheirdormitoriesandhaveidentifiedtheirpostofficeboxesareproperlyregisteredeveniftheregistrationformsdonotidentifythenamesofthedormitoriesinwhichthestudentsareliving.WewritebecauseyourpositionisincompatiblewiththeNewYorkElectionLawandimposesanunconstitutionalburdenonthefundamentalrightofcollegestudentstovoteasresidentsoftheircollegecommunities.We,therefore,urgethatyouwithdrawyourpositionandthatyoudosoexpeditiously.Inadvancingthisrequest,webeginwiththewell-recognizedprinciplethatcollegestudentsareentitledtovoteasresidentsofcollegedormitoriesinthecircumstancewheresuchstudentsregardtheircollegecommunitiesasthe"locusoftheirprimaryconcern."
Ramey
v.
Rockefeller,
348F.Supp.780,786(E.D.N.Y.1972).Manystudentsfindthemselvesinthatcircumstance.Theybelievethattheyarefarmoreaffectedbytheactsandomissionsoflocalofficialsintheircollegecommunitiesthantheyarebythebehavioroflocalofficialsinadistantparentalcommunityinwhichtheyarenolongerliving.They,therefore,seektovoteasresidentsoftheircollegecommunities.Theirrighttodosoissecured,asafundamentalright,bythefederalConstitution.
Williams
v.
Salerno,
792F.2d323(2
nd
Ciro1986).And,becausethisrightisregardedasfundamental,anypolicyorpracticethatsignificantlyburdensthatrightcanonlybesustainediffoundnecessarytoadvanceacompellinginterest.
Dunn
V.
Blumstein,
405U.S.330(1972).NosuchcompellinginterestsupportsthepolicyofrequiringstudentsattheCulinaryInstituteoratBardCollegetoprovidethenamesoftheirdormitoriesontheirvoterregistrationforms.InprovidingthestreetaddressesoftheirdormitoriestheyprovidesufficientinformationtodemonstratethattheyqualifyasresidentsoftheirDutchessCountycommunities.Andin

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