Election ignores student voice

This Tuesday there will be a primary election in the 59th State Senate District, which the University of Minnesota belongs to. The primary will essentially choose the winner of the seat, as the DFL candidate won with a margin of 78-22 during the last election cycle. It is extremely important to exercise a strong student voice in the democratic process.

The election has come on incredibly short notice and thus it is fairly safe to assume that many students are not registered. This does not, however, mean that students cannot vote. Students living in any of the residential buildings on campus simply need their University ID with them at the poll to be eligible. Those who live off campus, but still in District 59, need to bring proof of residence, which can be something as simple as a utility bill.

The Dec. 6 vote is a primary, but the primary in this district will determine the winner of the seat. What is aggravating is the scheduled time for the general election âÄî  Jan. 10 âÄî when significantly fewer students will be around to cast a ballot. This is nothing other than disregard for student voice in the democratic process in Minnesota.

Why such a large constituency of potential voters is being subject to unnecessary barriers in exercising their civic duty appears to be part of a larger effort to dismiss the student vote, including the proposed âÄúVoter IDâÄù law that may go to referendum once the Legislature returns to session in January. The best way to overcome this dismissal is to show legislators that student voter turnout is substantial and requires their attention; we can start by taking the time to vote on Tuesday. Until then, obstructions to our student voice will persistently grow.