College Democrats put their

Heather Fors

With the fate of tuition and financial aid hanging on the results of the upcoming elections, University Democrats are working overtime to get their word out and get people to vote.
This is an important election because those who are put into office will have a tremendous influence on the University’s cash flow and students’ pocketbooks, said Adam Tillotson, chair of the College Democrats.
Gubernatorial candidate Hubert H. “Skip” Humphrey III’s plans to help students by increasing financial aid and University funding makes this race an automatic point of student interest.
The answer to whether Humphrey can deliver his promises lies in his history as attorney general, said Tillotson, a College of Liberal Arts sophomore.
He added that the determination and drive Humphrey exhibited in dealing with the state tobacco settlement will carry over into the governor’s office.
But to get Humphrey into office, the student democrats need to convince fellow students to vote.
The elections boosted College Democrats enrollment from 70 Democrats last year to 150 this year; those who didn’t sign up in the beginning of the year probably wouldn’t join this late in the quarter, Tillotson said.
While students generally show little turnout at the polls, College Democrats associate chairwoman Sam Tuttle said students need to vote to get heard.
Tillotson agreed that voting is the only way to voice concern.
“I don’t think you have any right to complain if you don’t vote,” he said.
In the last month, the College Democrats stormed University residence halls, soliciting support and trying to get students to vote. They even set up tables in the residence halls for students to register to vote.
Tillotson said one concern about students coming to the University from out of state is that they might not know they can make a difference in the community by voting.
Students can register to vote as long as they have lived in the community for at least 20 days by easily supplying a driver’s license or University identification.
Before the elections, College Democrats will also be making rounds in nearby areas such as Dinkytown to drum up as much support as possible.
Before the election, Sen. Paul Wellstone will make an appearance Monday at 4:30 p.m. on the Superblock to kick off a major last-minute literature drop.
“This election’s going to be won on the ground,” Tillotson said, reiterating what others have said throughout the campaign season.
Last minute literature drops and door-to-door visits are what will drive people to the polls, he added.
Many student Democrats are confident in their candidate.
“We’re feeling pretty good about this,” said Jon Bjorum, secretary for the Statewide College Democrats of Minnesota.
But College Democrats were surprised at Reform Party candidate Jesse Ventura’s increasing popularity.
Ventura will have a good chance at giving Humphrey a run for his money if all his supporters get to the polls, said Bjorum, an architecture junior.
The Ventura supporters forced Democrats to work even harder to get Humphrey in office, Tillotson said. After polls are announced in the media, campaign offices are always inundated with calls of support.
The presidential turmoil is another force that Tillotson said some might see as working against Democrats in this year’s state elections.
But he said he doesn’t think it will affect the elections too much.
“If you believe in public opinion polls, I think it’ll be irrelevant,” Tillotson said.