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UMD Student Groups Urge Involvement in Nov. 2 Election

Get Up Minnesota booth

Students table for Get Up Minnesota in Kirby

The Office of Civic Engagement, the Department of Political Science, and the University Educators Association joined with seven UMD student organization to organize a campus-wide Get Out the Vote campaign. The student groups participating are Student Association, Student Legislative Coalition, MPIRG, College Democrats, College Republicans, Honors Student Association, and a state wide youth vote campaign called “Get Up Minnesota." The Office of Civic Engagement coordination has pulled together the voices of UMD student groups on this issue.

Making Important Decisions

“The Nov. 2 election is really important because the State of Minnesota has a projected $6 billion shortfall,” said Victor de Meireles, president of the UMD Student Association. By law, Minnesota is required to have a balanced budget in each biennium. “There is an urgency to resolving the state deficit. No matter which candidate is elected governor, important decisions that directly affect students will need be made,” said de Meireles.

Keeping Momentum

UMD has a history of high voter turnout. In 2004 the polling places at UMD and the surrounding area, indicated an 88% student voter turnout, the highest in the nation. Duluth has had the highest youth voter turnout in Minnesota in the past two elections. In 2006 in Minnesota, 43 percent of 18-29 year olds voted compared to 25% in the U.S.

“We want to keep the excitement building from the momentum of the 2008 election for the youth vote,” said Steve Wick, community involvement coordinator, Office of Civic Engagement. Wick, a 2010 UMD grad is working on campus as part of AmeriCorps.  Wick was part of the planning team to get Mark Dayton to make a campaign stop at UMD on October 8. He also helped organize a live webcast of a gubernatorial debate with all three candidates on October 15. “We are still trying to get the other two candidates for governor to speak on-campus to the student body,” said Wick.

stevevictor

Steve Wick, Office of Civic Engagement and Victor de Meireles, president of the UMD Student Association.

stu

Students and faculty are working together to get out the vote for the Nov 2, 2010 election.

Registering to Vote is Still an Option

Both de Meireles and Wick want student to know they still have the opportunity to vote on election day, even if they missed early registration. In Minnesota, to register at a polling

location on election day, residents must provide proof of residency, complete a voter registration application, and sign an oath stating that they are eligible to vote in the precinct. “Your roommate or another registered voter can vouch for you,” said de Meireles.

The polling location for students living in the residence halls and on-campus apartments is the Kirby Ballroom. To vote, students only need to bring their Ucard to show proof of residency. Off-campus students will need to look up their polling location. (See the links below for more information on registering and polling places.)

“The real message is that the student voice is important. It is critically important in this election to vote,” said de Meireles. “Students may not pay taxes now, but they will in three or four years.”

Contacts for "Get Up Minnesota":
Thom Boik:  thom@getup.mn

Find your Polling Place:

http://pollfinder.sos.state.mn.us/

Registering on Election Day:

http://www.sos.state.mn.us/index.aspx?page=1624

Governor Candidate Websites:
http://www.markdayton.org/
http://www.emmerforgovernor.com/
http://www.horner2010.com/

 

Written by Katherine McQuarter and Cheryl Reitan

UMD home page editor, Cheryl Reitan, creitan@d.umn.edu
NEW RELEASES, UMD media contact, Susan Latto, slatto@d.umn.edu, 218-726-8830

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Last modified on 04/22/11 02:37 PM
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