10 reasons to vote in Minnesota

By Margaret Nigro, Molly Griffard

You do live here. Whether you like it or not, you reside here from Sept. to May each year for at least four years, compared to the three months that you spend at home or elsewhere. Contrary to the opinions expressed in last week’s edition, students are not just visitors passing through the state. College students live in Minnesota for two Congressional terms and the length of time that a governor is in office.

Your tuition, loans, and student aid. Unhappy with our skyrocketing tuition? Taking out student loans? Minnesota laws can affect tuition, your loans, and student aid. Just think of how much Macalester pays to cover its faculty and staff with healthcare. If Minnesota worked to make healthcare more affordable, it would greatly reduce Macalester’s expenses and save us money on tuition.
Minnesota is a swing state. Your vote counts here. If you are from a state that is a sure win for either party, you should vote here, because votes matter in Minnesota. Check out the polls on Minnesota’s Senate and Governor’s race–they are getting national attention, and for a political dork like me, they are really exciting. While Democrat Amy Klobuchar has a somewhat solid lead over Mark “All Things Wrong with the Radical Right” Kennedy, the polls show that Democrat Mike Hatch and Republican Tim “Homophobe/ Xenophobe/ Liberalphobe” Pawlenty are tied. Your vote will matter here.

Employment and Wages. Minnesota laws can affect wages earned as a student. If you work in the state of Minnesota, then you are paying taxes to the state, so you certainly deserve a vote on who gets to spend it.
Affordable Housing. Looking forward to the days of living off-campus and being free of Res Life and Bon Appétit? MN policies affect the affordability of off-campus housing and tenants rights.

Public Transportation. Like going to places outside of the Macalester bubble, like a job, internship, or one of the Twin Cities’ fabulous museums, theaters, or restaurants? The cost and availability of public transportation directly impacts students and is funded by the government.

You can be involved here. We live in an active urban environment in which you have a chance to get involved in the campaigns and issues that matter to you. When asked to lobby MN’s Congress, participate in a protest or a rally, or sign a petition-which, as a Mac student will occur around 3.2 million times before graduating-your voice means more if you vote here.
You might end up here. A ridiculous amount of Mac grads end up living within a 20 block radius of campus. A ton more are working somewhere in the state, probably in politics or for a non-profit. Even if you are sure that you won’t be here when your four years are up, take a look around you. A surprising number of your friends will be living a few blocks away when you come back for your 10 year reunion. If you think Minnesota politics don’t affect you and your friends because you are only here for a few years, think again.

It is really easy. No absentee ballot required. You can pick up a registration card in the campus center (right next to the stacks of The Mac Weekly). If you forget to do that, Minnesota has same-day registration. On-campus students vote at Mac Plymouth Church, which is behind Carnegie, and off-campus students can find their precinct online at pollfinder.sos.state.mn.us.
You know you love Minnesota. Somewhere between summer’s sickening humidity and the frigid cold and blinding snow of the winters, you really do love Minnesota. You live here, you love it, and its time to take it back. Vote in Minnesota not just because you can, but because you care about the issues that affect you and your Minnesotan neighbors. Don’t forget to vote on Tuesday, November 7th.