Student voter registration forms lost, fault unclear

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May 5, 2008

5:45 PM

Voter registration forms filled out by at least three Flat Hat staff members are missing as of today, and those who filled out forms will not be able to vote in the City Council election tomorrow.

The registrations were handled several weeks ago by Student Assembly Sen. Michael Douglass ’11, a campaign volunteer for Matt Beato ’09.

“I took them directly to the office,” Douglass said.

But Williamsburg Voter Registrar Win Sowder said that, to her knowledge, she never received the forms.

“When forms come into the office, they don’t leave,” Sowder said. “We don’t throw any registrations away. You would have gotten a letter if they were not approved.”

Sowder added that she looked carefully for the missing forms, checking for each name that they were supposed to have received. She said that the office was handling forms carefully.

“I promise you that we were very careful with every single application that came into this office. We don’t want to disenfranchise anyone,” she said.

David Sievers ’07, Beato’s campaign manager, said that on the whole the campaign has been pleased with the registrar’s performance.

“The registrar has been very helpful and very professional,” Sievers said. “On the other hand, Michael is one of the most dilegent people on the campaign, and I can’t imagine this was due to negligence on his part.”

More than 1,000 students have registered to vote since Sowder assumed office. Previously, student voter registration forms were generally denied because former Registrar Dave Andrews did not consider students permanent Williamsburg residents.

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