Opinion: What we can learn from the King decision

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Cory Spiers


The North Carolina Board of Elections voted unanimously  Tuesday to allow Elizabeth City State University student Montravias King to run for city council after he was prevented from doing so because he resides in a dormitory, according to the Associated Press.

The original decision by the Pasquotank County Board of Elections cited questions about the address on King’s driver’s license differing from his campus address, according to the Winston Salem Journal.

Once evidence was found proving King used this address to register to vote, received a campus paycheck and had a campus post office box, the case for blocking King from running became weaker.

The decision in the King case was the right one and sets a favorable precedent for college students who use dormitory addresses to register to vote or run for public office.

It is, however, not the first time such the issue has come into question.

The ruling in the 1979 Symm v. United States Supreme Court case stated that the government cannot deny or discourage residency to students, according to the FindLaw website.

Student’s rights to residency will now, justifiably so, carry over into voting registration as well.

This helps take strides toward eliminating voting worries for college students.

The decision also protects the right to vote for members of the military, who use military bases as primary places of residence, which has served as another positive outcome from the ruling.

Josh Howard, the chairman of the State Board of Elections, said in an interview with the Winston-Salem Journal that he will not tolerate infringements on anyone’s right to vote.

It seems as if the views of public officials such as Howard are going a long way to aid in the preservation of student rights.

No one should be blocked from voting or pursuing office because they are pursuing higher education.

The recent proposed changes to the voting sysem in our county caused students to stand up for their rights.

Now, the King case should remind everyone that treading on student rights is a dangerous road to walk.

Spiers, a junior journalism major from Charlotte, is the opinion editor