Post Classifieds

Voting site may be cast off campus

By Maurika Smutherman
On September 11, 2013

  • View of the entrance to the Anderson Center, where early voting has been taking place since 2008.

Winston-Salem State students are fighting back after news that the early voting site at the Anderson Center may be closed.

More than 40 students attended the Forsyth County Board of Elections meeting in August to combat claims that the voting site should be shut down.

SGA President Bryant Bell said closing the voting site is purposefully intended to stifle student votes.

"When you talk about removing the Anderson Center as a voting site, now you're making it much more obvious that you're trying to prevent the young voter from participating in elections," he said.

Ken Raymond, newly elected chairman of the Board of Elections, is the front-runner for the campaign to close the voting site.

Raymond has said that he wants to shut down the voting site because he overheard students claiming to be casting ballots in exchange for grades back in 2010 when he worked as precinct judge at the Anderson Center.

His interview was printed in The Winston-Salem Chronicle.

"Some of the students that came in and voted talked openly about receiving extra credit for voting," Raymond said in July.

"This isn't something that someone told me...I heard it myself. They talked as if they didn't know they were doing something wrong. But it is wrong - in fact it's a felony," he said.

Students have disagreed these rumors.

"I don't understand why he's bringing up something that happened in 2010 as a reason to close the voting site down in 2014," said Latasha Fuller, student senate president.

Olivia Sedwick, chief of staff for the SGA agrees.

"I don't think professors at our school would do that and students definitely wouldn't brag about it," Sedwick said.

Fuller said the student senate and SGA will do their best to ensure that students are still able to vote.

"All of us have cars so we will drive them ourselves if necessary," Fuller said.

Sedwick said, "If the voting site is closed down we will exhaust all resources to make sure students are still able to vote."

Raymond has said that voting on this issue will be postponed until next year, but students are staying abreast of every development.

Bell said this has been a wake-up call for students to take action when it comes to their voting rights.

According to reports, Boards of Elections across North Carolina are working with Republicans to suppress the minority and youth vote.

The Anderson Center has been used as an early voting site since 2008.

Thousands of people from the WSSU and Winston-Salem community cast ballots at the Anderson Center in 2012, when Barack Obama was re-elected.

"We have to realize that this isn't only affecting students; it's affecting the entire community of Winston-Salem," Sedwick said.



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