Republicans dupe student voters
Ted Terry & Camille West
September/October 2004

The signing of petitions on UF campus is a common sight during an election year, however, students may have encountered an organization with a different purpose in recent days. The group that will only identify themselves as "YPM" has been actively recruiting students in Turlington Plaza and the Reitz Union Colonnade to sign a "publicite" to either enforce harsher sentences for child molesters or to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes.

However, after signing the forms presented, the group then requested students to fill out a voter registration form (even if the student was already registered to vote.) To convince students to complete the voter registration form, the representatives made statements such as "we are not affiliated with the Republican Party" and "You can still voter for whomever you would like" so as to distract students from noticing the representative quickly checking the "change of party affiliation" on the form. When met with opposition, the representatives often countered with "this is the only way we will get paid."

In experiencing this process, it became clear that the purpose of the voter registration forms was to change the party affiliation of already registered voters to Republican. Of course it is illegal to subversively add information (such as a "check" to the Republican Party box) after the registration form has been signed, and it is equally reprehensible to hide such actions with pleas to support popular issues such as the legalization of medicinal marijuana.

When this group was questioned by Kelly Mangan, the President of Campus NOW, and Ted Terry, the President of the Gator Greens, they became very vague and eventually agitated to the point that they refused to continue the conversation. However, it was learned from these encounters that "YPM" is funded by the Republican Party and the Young Republicans of Alachua County were working with the group. Similar instances of "YPM" actions have been reported on the University of South Florida Campus by the Tampa Bay Independent Media Center. What must be learned from these experiences is the devious acts the Republican Party is willing to sink to in order to dupe voters into joining their party.

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