At least 60 students, and probably many more, who filled out voter registration forms at CUPID this fall were unable to vote yesterday because they had never been placed on voter rolls. CUPID coordinator Bernie Maccolier said Monday that ROTC, which operated the registration table, was supposed to mail the forms. But ROTC Master Sergeant Steve Nord said Monday that he put registrations in a box each evening for CUPID workers to pick up and mail. Maccolier would not comment yesterday, saying that officials wanted to learn how many students were affected "before we had any response." He said that hundreds of students registered at CUPID. Some students discovered that they were not on voter rolls when they called Voter Registration this week. Others did not learn that they were absent from the lists until they went to the polls yesterday. Students said they were frustrated and angry that they were not registered, and unable to get a response from CUPID officials. First-year Wharton MBA student Ben Bentzin said last night that he called Maccolier four weeks ago when he realized he had not never received confirmation that he was registered. Maccolier referred him to Philadelphia election officials. Officials there told him that there was probably not a problem with his registration. But when he went to the polls yesterday, Bentizin was told that he could not vote. The only option for unregistered voters yesterday morning was to argue their case in front of a judge at election court, in hopes of obtaining a court order allowing them to vote. Bentzin, like many students, could not take the time to go to court at 55th and Pine streets, 20th and Pennsylvania streets or 39th and Lancaster streets. Some students who did go were successful. First-year Graduate School of Fine Arts student Gregory Hall went to 20th and Pennsylvania streets, but was denied a court order. He said he was angry at CUPID and ROTC officials. "The attitude of tough luck isn't good enough," Hall said. "If nothing else, a formal letter of apology to everyone who wasn't able to vote would be appropriate." Pennsylvania law mandates that voters must be mailed confirmation that the Voter Registration office has received their application within 48 hours of its arrival at the office. College junior Chris Welbon said yesterday that he noticed that he had not received his registration card, but said he was not worried, because two years ago he received his card only a few days before the election. "If I thought there was a problem before, I would have done something about it," said Welbon, who discovered yesterday that he was not registered. Some students, like first-year Wharton Ph.D. student Alan Salzberg, had a relatively easy time getting permission to vote from the courts. Salzberg said he went to the court at 39th and Lancaster streets, where he was granted the court order in five minutes. Students who discovered they were not on voter rolls visited CUPID on different days during the fall.Comments powered by Disqus
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