Kennesaw State warns students about ‘unauthorized’ voter registration

Fake voter registration drives “targeting particular student populations” on campus prompted a warning this week at Kennesaw State University, although no other major university in metro Atlanta or at the University of Georgia in Athens reported a similar problem.

In an alert sent out Tuesday morning by Michael L. Sanseviro, Kennesaw State’s dean of students, the university warned students away from unauthorized campus visitors “walking around with clipboards” encouraging students to fill out paper forms.

A university spokeswoman said she could not confirm that black students and other minorities were being targeted in the effort, although the alert said particular student populations appeared to be receiving the most attention from some of the individuals.

“We have had students in the past not be able to vote on Election Day because they completed a form with an unauthorized person and were never properly registered,” Sanseviro said in the alert. “We are committed to ensuring all eligible KSU students have the proper access and opportunity to participate in the democratic process.”

He added that the university has authorized voter registration drives on Sept. 21 and Sept. 27 that would focus on online voter registration with the state. Georgia has an Oct. 11 registration deadline ahead of the Nov. 8 presidential election.

Universities including Kennesaw State have strict rules for who can and cannot solicit on campus. At UGA, for example, Student Affairs Director Stan Jackson said student groups can request to hold voter registration drives on campus but must first notify the university, which in turn acts as a liaison with local elections officials.

Other campuses including Clark Atlanta University require anyone seeking to register voters to get permission from college officials before they may conduct a voter registration drive, although CAU Public Safety Chief Joe Little Jr. said campus police always monitor people coming onto campus as a safety measure.