All last year, the Indiana University College Republicans worked. In the first few months of the year, the College Republicans raised money and recruited volunteers so they’d be ready for phone-banking (at right) and door-knocking ahead of November’s general election. Though Mitt Romney lost, Indiana went red, and the Indiana University Republicans – “the best party on campus” – went back to work. On Monday, they welcomed state Treasurer Richard Mourdock for a talk about the state of the Republican Party.
Now the College Republicans have something new to work on: Stopping a Republican state lawmakers’ bill that would block anyone paying out-of-state tuition from voting where they live for school. From the Indiana Daily Student:
“As a leader of a student group on campus, a resident of Monroe County and the president of College Republicans, I say this is not a partisan issue,” said Daniel Cheesman, IU College Republicans chairman. “This is a student issue. A student rights issue.”
The bill appears to be plainly unconstitutional; the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1979 that students may register and vote at their college.
As it happens, the College Republicans endorsed the bill’s lead sponsor, freshman state Representative Peggy Mayfield, last year. Mayfield has promised to amend the bill before its second hearing tomorrow. Legislative aides tell us the changes will be significant, just as the consequences for sponsoring the bill could last awhile.
On the other side of the aisle, the past president of the Indiana University College Democrats has started a Defeat Mayfield campaign. Chris Babcock says he heard about the bill back in January and the group has been organizing against it ever since. “I wanted to make sure people don’t forget about this a year from now when Rep. Mayfield is up for re-election.” That would be November 2014, a date for which Babcock is already signing people up.