As a college student in my first year at Western, I find myself frustrated with the set-up of the Washington state Democratic caucuses.
I believe many of my peers have been disenfranchised, rendered unable to have their votes counted in the upcoming caucuses as March 26 falls during Western’s spring break and is the day before the Easter holiday. A huge number of students will likely be at home with their families, spread out in other counties across the state. It will just not be possible for them to make it to their newly assigned precinct locations in Bellingham. These students have been bombarded with requests to update their voter registration to Whatcom County ever since they got to Western. Now they are told that they do not even have a valid reason to submit their vote via the surrogate affidavit form, and are not permitted to vote at alternate precinct locations in other counties.
I am from California, where we have a vote-by-mail system that encourages as many people as possible to vote. I appreciate having the assurance that I will be able to cast my vote from afar in the California primary, without having to be there in person. We must take steps to bring more people into the electorate, not to disenfranchise them, and we can only do so by fixing this absurd caucus system that skews the results of the Democratic race away from the choices of eager young would-be voters.
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Elijah Schenk, Bellingham