MPIRG, MSA door knock to bring voters to polls

Campaigns to âÄúget out the voteâÄù have been made since the school year started and student groups on campus are set to make a final push get young voters to the polls. The Minnesota Public Interest Research Group and the Minnesota Student Association will go to all 11 residence halls to get as many people to the polls as possible, said Ryan Kennedy, an MSA and MPIRG member who helped organize the event. The collective group will meet at the University Technology Center for a rally at noon, and plan to tell volunteers how to talk to potential voters, MPIRG member Brittany Bump said. After the rally, about 40 volunteers will have from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. to knock on every door at every residence hall. MPIRG campus organizer Joe Eggers said stronger youth voting numbers at the polls could change future campaign strategies. âÄúIf you look at when candidates are campaigning, itâÄôs always catered to our parents and grandparents,âÄù Eggers said. âÄúWe account for about one-third of the eligible voting population, but donâÄôt vote in those numbers.âÄù Kennedy added that politicians would place a higher value on young voters if they had stronger numbers coming to the polls. âÄúWeâÄôre showing politicians that young people do care about the issues and young people do care about the political process and young people do vote,âÄù he said. Groups such as College Republicans at the University of Minnesota and Students for Al , who support U.S. Senate hopeful Al Franken, are also making efforts, but instead with a partisan agenda. College Republicans President Abdul Magba-Kamara said the group will be going to other congressional districts in Eden Prairie, Minneapolis and St. Paul. He said College Republicans wonâÄôt be knocking on doors on campus because there arenâÄôt enough republicans on campus. âÄúItâÄôs best to focus our efforts on the tightest races,âÄù Magba-Kamara said. Pete Noteboom , co-chairman of Students for Al, said the group will have two âÄúaction centersâÄù and will be knocking on doors and making phone calls to residence halls as well. Noteboom also said he supported groups like MPIRG and MSA in their efforts. âÄúA higher turnout is good for democracy in general,âÄù he said. Students for Al will also be providing rides for students from residence halls to polling places regardless of their political views, Noteboom said. MSA legislative affairs chairwoman Alicia Smith said itâÄôs important to vote because elections can be close. âÄúItâÄôs just part of being an American, itâÄôs your civic duty,âÄù she said. Eggers said he expects their efforts to be successful. âÄúIâÄôm pretty confident that this election is going to break voter turnout records for Minnesota,âÄù he said.