Dutchess Judge Permits Students To Vote

Nov 6, 2012

Poughkeepsie area college students, who were denied the ability to vote in the election by Republican Dutchess County Elections Commissioner Erik Haight, may do so after all.

Haight maintained they did not properly list their campus addresses on their voter registration forms. But, US District Court Judge Kenneth Karas ruled late Monday they may, in fact, vote on Tuesday.

The students from The Culinary Institute of America, Marist College and Bard College filed a class action lawsuit against Haight and the Dutchess Board of Elections maintaining they do have the right to vote.

The students were represented by the New York Civil Liberties Union and their law firm. Donna Lieberman is the director of the NYCLU.

“This is a great decision for college students, but it’s really a great decision for all New Yorkers and the vindication for the right to vote,” Lieberman said. “Partisan political agendas should not prevent anyone from voting that undermines out democracy.”

“This is a victory for voting rights,” said NYCLU Legal Director Arthur Eisenberg. “The right to vote is preservative of all other rights in a democracy, and deserves the strictest constitutional protection possible.”