Not impressed with college student voting

To the editor:

As usual, David Ashenhurst never gets it right (see “Students have every right to vote here,” Aug. 17 edition).

As a U.S. Airman serving a three-year tour of duty in Spain, I first voted in the 1964 presidential election through the military post office at the young age of 20. I have always encouraged students and others to exercise their right to vote and I do not appreciate the suggestion that I am engaging in voter suppression.

In the interest of brevity I only mentioned the busing of Oberlin College students to the Board of Elections in my letter of Aug. 10.

As a resident who has paid property taxes in Oberlin for over 50 years, I am not impressed with those who have encouraged college students to vote on local issues in recent years. They do not pay any property taxes and neither does the college except for some limited retail ventures across campus and town that are mainly in direct competition with our community business.

The students do not directly pay electric and other utility bills which becomes obvious when you see all the open windows all winter long up and down the Professor Street corridor. There are many other fees, charges, and taxes that permanent residents are obligated to pay. Do students have any idea of who pays for our library, churches, mental health, social and youth services, drug treatment, and county government the list goes on and on?

Yes, we will continue to have election and voter fraud here in Lorain County because prosecutor Dennis Will has refused to enforce election misconduct. We can also expect continued and increasing abuse of our municipal electoral and governance process by those who have no reservations when it comes to corrupting this system to achieve their selfish goals.

Tony Mealy

Past member of Oberlin City Council

Editor’s note: This letter was edited to eliminate an ad hominem attack, as well as legal accusations that without proof could constitute libel. Both are barred by our letters policy. Further, any argument against Oberlin College students’ right to vote is regressive. Suffrage was expanded in 1828 to those who do not own property. Arguing that Oberlin College students have less of a say on local issues because they do not own property holds no merit; we do not make the same argument of non-student renters. Nor is it plausible to argue that college students — who pump roughly $70,000 per year into the local economy through tuition and board alone — contribute nothing to Oberlin, or that their board costs do not include utilities.