The November Election brought a large ballot for voters
By Weston Cregut
November holds one of the most important times of the year. While Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving are exciting to think about, election day might also have students giddy with excitement and ready to notch another milestone in adulthood.
Minnesotans approached the polls with a larger than usual midterm election. Both US Senate seats in Minnesota were being voted on. The special Senate Race Between Karin Housley (GOP) and Tina Smith (DFL) happened because of former Sen. Al Franken’s resignation due to sexual harassment claims earlier this year. Sen. Amy Klobuchar was seeking reelection for her senate seat against republican candidate Jim Newberger. Also, on the national level were the US House seat races. The governorship was up for grabs as well between Jeff Johnson (GOP) and Tim Walz (DFL).
Plenty of other state and local level races occurred as well. The ballot also had a legal issue on it of whether restaurants in Minneapolis will be able to get full liquor licenses and be able to have bars in their places of business instead of just a beer tap and wine selection.
While smaller offices may not seem to be the most exciting things to research and vote on, they are still important.
“Even if you don’t care about your local elections, the person who is elected dog catcher usually ends up being your city council member, your congress member, and if they have a hit reality show, then they end up being your president,” said associate professor of digital media Aaron McKain.
Voters in the US are eligible to vote if they are citizens over the age of 18, with some exemption for felons. This bears a lot of responsibility on the nation as it requires a fundamental understanding of who, what, and why we are voting for or on.
“I think anything you can’t do until reach a certain age has a certain allure to it when finally, you do get to do that activity,” said resident director of Carlson Hall Chris Woelfle.
Minnesota had the highest voter turnout of any state for the 2016 election. However, young adults continue to be one of the least likely demographics to be represented in voting. Only 45.2 percent of 20-24 year olds registered to vote cast ballots according to Pew Research.
“Students today are tired because they are facing very uncertain economic futures,” said McKain. “They have to work multiple jobs while they go to college and there may not be the American Dream at the end of it, and they can get disenchanted.”
So why does your vote matter? According to CNN, the voter turnout for the 2016 national election was 55.8 percent. This means only about a quarter of Americans voted for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. According to the article “How many Americans actually support Trump?,” the typical midterm election turnout is around 30 percent.
In Elliot Park, the population of the precinct is just shy of 6,500 people, as stated by the 2000 Census. North Central alone makes up 1,200 of that. The campus then has a significant portion of the vote in our precinct.
While you are at North Central, you can vote in Elliot Park, but some students have chosen to vote in their home state elections.
Minnesota makes it easy to see a sample ballot and to find out where candidates stand on issues and find out the results of the election. Simply go to the Secretary of State website and go to the “Elections & Voting” section in the drop-down menu. If you are unsure of your political leanings, taking an online quiz could be helpful.