Holly Koerber-Audette: If non-residents can vote, why no tuition break?

By Holly Koerber-Audette

The Daily Advance

12 Comments | Leave a Comment

There seems to be consensus that growth is critical and maybe even crucial for Elizabeth City State University’s survival. ECSU has been looking at taking better advantage of the close proximity of the Hampton Roads, Va. area which has a population that is actually greater than the one in Atlanta and its suburbs.

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Following logic not disingenuous

First I do not agree that Ms. Koerber is disingenuous, i.e. lacking in frankness, candor, or sincerity; falsely or hypocritically ingenuous; insincere:

If there is one thing she always is it is sincere, frank, and speaks with candor. This article is no exception.

Despite your specious comment - Nowhere does Ms. Koerber deny anyone the right to vote. What she does is follow the logic that if a dorm is a residence for voting, a much more sacred and as you correctly note fundamental right, then why don't people who register to vote using their college address get the benefit of in state tuition?

Not a new idea and certainly worthy of debate. More importantly, she points out the hypocrisy and greed of the very people who take the moral high ground on voting yet deny in state tuition to in state voters. Goes to show that where you stand depends on who's ox get's gored not on basic principles of equity.

I think that's called politics as opposed to truly democratic government.

There are two VERY

different legal standards that apply to voting v. in-state tuition. I do not believe for one minute that she is unaware of that. But just in case I'm giving her too much credit: http://www.ncsu.edu/general_counsel/legal_topics/residency.php

Pretty obvious that's a big part of the argument

And I think many people understand there is different legislation behind each issue.

This is a political THINK piece meant to get us to ponder the dichotomy between two issues which are based on the same premise i.e. being a resident of NC.

That the same premise supports totally different outcomes in law seems illogical, inconsistent, unfair, unconstitutional, egregious, stupid and a myriad of other adjectives.

To attack the writer or tell us the law is different as proof of some unknown conclusion doesn't add to the dialogue.

Ms. Koerber is asking us to consider this issue and potentially ask our legislature to make a change.

Think about it.

Then she

First, it is not "legislation" behind the voting issue; it is the US Constitution. There is a vast difference. Second, a "think" piece needs to provide accurate and complete information. She should have been transparent about the differing legal standards and why they exist -- in particular the Constitutional standards regarding voting and the statutory standards regarding in-state tuition. She wasn't. She is either conversant with the difference or she isn't. I chose to give her credit for knowing the difference. Perhaps I ASSumed the scope of her knowledge was greater than it is. If so, I apologize. Personally, I would have enjoyed a parsing of the in-state tuition statute. I've always thought it was overly strict. But it has nothing to do with the Constitutional standards for voting. That being said, it may well implicate North Carolina's Constitution.

Constitution sets policy Legislation defines rules

Despite your contention, under the U.S. system of government there is a constitutional and legislative basis for both of these issues. That is simple U.S. Government 101.

The constitutional right to vote does not preempt a states right to pass legislation regarding the procedures for voting as long as any such legislation does not infringe on the right itself. Since the constitution is moot on the how, there must be state statutes regarding the voting process.

No differently, under the separation of powers clause of the Constitution, a state has the right to determine who is eligible for in state tuition. That too requires legislation by the state and that legislation is subject to constitutional protections, e.g. you can't pass in state tuition legislation that discriminates against a protected group.

Again you expect Ms. Koerber to explain the dichotomy between these two issues and again that is not her job nor does she have any way to know why they differ. That they do is the point.

That being said, I don't think Ms. Koerber is obligated to provide us a tutorial in constitutional law when she expresses an opinion. It is an unreasonable and onerous burden. She succinctly and correctly challenged the legislative difference that has been made between a student's vote and their tuition. We have the obligation to check or find out the facts for ourselves and then present cogent argument in rebuttal. I'm waiting.

Pretty obvious that's a big part of the argument


Well said Councilman Stimatz.

I guess the defense rests.


You cannot be this uninformed. Voting is a fundamental right, guaranteed by the United States Constitution. In-state tuition is a different kettle of fish, governed not by the Constitution of the United states but by NC Statutes and the NC Constitution. Holly, I do not understand how someone of your obvious intelligence could be this disingenuous.

I've known Holly for a long time.

The last thing I would ever say about her would be to call her disingenuous. On the other hand, I only know you Melanie from what you write on this blog. You madam are the one I consider uninformed.

I did not call her

"uniformed." Indeed, I think she is quite well informed.

OK then,

I consider you uninformed.

Well Put!

Holly, I totally agree. If student housing can be claimed as a legal residence for voting purposes, then it clearly can be claimed for in-state tuition purposes. If the student provides the school his/her student housing address as his/her legal residence, the precedent has already been set to accept it. Mr. M. King's case demonstrated that school housing can and must be accepted as a legal residence, therefore giving the resident the right to vote in local elections. Hence, once established in a dorm or other student housing, the student can claim that address as their legal residence, and since that residence is clearly IN the State of North Carolina, the student must be granted in-state tuition. Thank you, Holly, for continuing to bring a "voice of reason" to our community. You are much needed, and greatly appreciated.

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