Letters to the editor

Jan. 12, 2013 @ 11:53 AM

Student voting addresses

Re: "Election chaos has effect on entire state" by Jay Delancy and concerns about Duke/NCCU voter registration.

I was the Durham County Board of Elections geographer from July 2001 until this past summer. I implemented a way of recording student residential addresses in order to prevent such questions of jurisdiction.

First, one should understand that any voter can use a mailing address that is different from their residential address, and many voters do.  Students are not unique in this regard. But it is the residential address that must "fit" into the computerized voter registration system used throughout the state and it is that address that determines the various jurisdictions the voter resides in.  The POB addresses used by Duke and NCCU students do not fit into the system and would be rejected.

The referenced addresses: 1801 Fayetteville St., NCCU, and two for Duke (East and West Campus) are used only for students who reside in certain (most) dorms on those respective campuses. Each of these areas comprise a single US Census Block, cannot be legally split by any jurisdiction and therefore the situation that occurred at Warren Wilson could not occur here.

There are other on-campus residences that don't fall in these areas, such as the new NCCU dorms on Brant Street and Central Campus Apartments at Duke.  These residents are registered by their street address.   Indeed, Central Campus has long been split by varying N.C. legislative districts and this has been easily, fairly and accurately accommodated by this system.

Joseph Fedrowitz

Durham