To The Daily Sun,
In a letter to The Sun, Gene Ronikier, of Plymouth, wrote: "the true residents of many New Hampshire communities have had their vote nullified. This determined action . . . is done by tens of thousands of out-of-state college students." He further labels Plymouth State University as a "4,000 room tax-free motel."
At least Mr. Ronikier is to be respected. He is honest and goes on to explain the real reason that the GOP wants to limit voting by certain groups. Conservatives simply do not want people voting for other candidates. Most Republicans want us to believe it is because we have a "crisis" of non-qualified voters," which has been proven wrong.
Students DO "reside" in Plymouth and contribute to the community. PSU is a wonderful cultural institution for the entire area. Over the decades, it has grown from a "normal school" to train teachers into a fine university. Mr. Ronikier grossly exaggerates the number of out-of-state students at PSU. PSU does not even have "tens of thousands" of in-state students! Still, it were not for PSU, Plymouth might not be on anyone's "map."
Students pay tuition. The students provide jobs in your community. I am going to guess, Mr. Ronikier, that you may not like academics so let's leave those "ivory tower" jobs out. What about all of those secretarial, maintenance, janitorial, security and food service jobs the university provides?
As for the students, they shop at local stores, drink at local bars, and eat in local restaurants. And, due to lack of privacy in that "4,000 room motel" some students have romantic interludes in local motels which are not "tax free." Students pay fines when they do something illegal. Also, not all live in dorms. Many rent and pay property taxes, indirectly, through their landlords.
The students ARE "residents" of Plymouth even if they only live there for four years. Is this any different than someone whose job requires them to move every few years? Would you deny a service member stationed in your town for a few years the right to vote, Mr. Ronikier?
Again, Mr. Ronikier, I may not agree with you but I respect you for stating the real reason Republicans want to limit voting rights among certain groups!
E. Scott Cracraft