STATEMENT BY AMANDA BROWN, POLITICAL DIRECTOR, ON MONTRAVIAS KING’S APPEAL TO THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS
Washington, DC – September 3, 2013
Let me first thank Montravias King for his brave and honorable commitment to his community and our country. He has answered the call to citizenship by voting regularly on Election Day, by volunteering in his community, by running for City Council, and now by speaking out when our freedoms as young Americans are threatened. He is a role model for us all.
When this young man and student of Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina, bravely decided to run for City Council in order to serve his community – the one he has lived in since 2009, the place he calls home – he should have been applauded. But instead the Pasquotank County Board of Elections told him ‘no’ because he lives in a dorm on campus. He challenged the County, and won.
This ruling in favor of Montravias King by the State Board of Elections is a real victory for our democracy, and student voting rights everywhere.
Today we celebrate this victory.
As we celebrate, however, we are also vigilant. This case was a blatant attempt to keep a student from exercising his fundamental rights. And it was particularly outrageous given the fact that the United States Supreme Court has upheld the rights of students to vote where they go to college, and the state of North Carolina has a statute reinforcing this right for students to vote at their campus address.
We hope this decision today serves as a lesson that Rock the Vote, our allies, and students everywhere will not be silenced. Hear our message loud and clear: no politician can get away with this. Not in Pasquotank County. Not in any other North Carolina county. Not anywhere! Any attempt to penalize a young person for being a student by revoking their right to participate in our democracy is unacceptable and un-American and will not stand.
Congratulations and thank you to Montravias and to all of the students who came out today.