College will Get Out the Vote this fall to increase community voter engagement
September 21, 2018
Register to vote at https://www.sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting
When do you have to register to vote? Am I registered? What if…? Good questions!
Am I eligible to vote? https://www.sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting/register-to-vote/who-can-vote/
Where is my polling place/where do I vote? Here’s where you vote: https://pollfinder.sos.state.mn.us/
Who is running for what? https://myballotmn.sos.state.mn.us/
Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon issued a call to action to state colleges and universities to help raise awareness and inform voters of candidates, voter resources, and to increase participation in our state. To answer the call, student senates at both campuses are participating in Ballot Bowl, a statewide collegiate voter registration competition. Through friendly rivalry, campuses around the state will participate in civic-minded voter registration campaigns.
“College campuses are hubs of democracy, activism, and civic engagement,” said Secretary of State Simon, “Be a part of what makes our state a national leader… and have some fun while doing your part to increase voter registration.”
Activities include creating communication plans, recruiting election judges, and disseminating voter registration information in the community and on campus.
To help decide their campaign strategies, student senate representatives participated in a Democracy in Action Summit, hosted at Minneapolis College (formerly Minneapolis Community & Technical College) on Aug. 8. Sponsored by Campus Compact Minnesota, LeadMN, Democracy Works, Minnesota State, and Students Learn Students Vote, the summit topics included: “Using Voting Data to Develop a Plan”, “Bringing an Equity Lens to Voter Engagement”, and “Best Practices in Action Planning”. Beyond civic organization skills, students learned additional leadership practices to complement the experiences gained during their time in student senate.
A highlight of the summit included a Shark Tank-like pitch session for each campus team, in front of event sponsor “sharks.” Anoka-Ramsey Community College was successful in lobbying the sharks for $2,000 of the potential $13,000 available in funding from the event. Cambridge and Coon Rapids campuses left with $500 and $1,500 respectively to be used toward operational costs of their voter registration activities. Cambridge Campus will put their funding toward community outreach, and an Election Day Celebration dance at the campus to show appreciation for voter engagement. Both senates are supported by LeadMN, the Minnesota State oversight and supporting body for community college students.
As November approaches, student leaders will be visible within the campus community during the many voter outreach opportunities offered. Students on campus will be able to learn more about their local ballot and voting location. They can also ask any questions they have on registration or absentee voting. Voter information is provided on the Anoka-Ramsey website, as well as Secretary of State Simon’s website at sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting.
Opportunities are still available for incoming and current students to get involved with Student Senate, as well. On Election Day, Coon Rapids Campus will be hosting transportation from campus to the polls in Anoka and Hennepin counties, with entertainment provided by a comedian to be determined.
For more information about the Anoka-Ramsey Community College Student Senate, visit: AnokaRamsey.edu/Campus-Life/Clubs-Organizations/Student-Senate/.
For more information on LeadMN, visit: LeadMN.org/
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