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The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

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The privilege of voting

The voter ID amendment reminds us of the privilege we have in this country.

With the voter ID amendment on the ballot this year, an argument for why everyone should be voting “no” that many of us at the Minnesota Public Interest Research Group use is: “voting is our right.” While I agree that voting is a right we all have, one which should never be taken away, it is important to remember that voting is also a privilege we have by being citizens of this country.

One of my good friends, Aya Elmileik, who has always been recognized as a citizen of Sudan, recently gained dual citizenship in the U.S. She will be able to vote for the first time ever this year. Talking to her about the power we have when we get to use our vote has ignited my passion to make sure voter ID is not passed.

Aya is a recent graduate from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and has been living in the U.S. for 12 years. During those years, she has had no say in the policies and candidates voted in, even though their decisions affected her and the ones she loves just as much as the rest of us.

While talking to her about the frustration one feels when they are not allowed to vote, I couldn’t help but think about those of us who could potentially be losing our right to vote next election. If the voter ID amendment passes, it will become extremely difficult — if not impossible — for thousands of people to vote. Can you imagine the anger that could result from this?

Thousands of people who have always used their power of voting to partake in this democratic country could be stripped of this right. It terrifies me to think about how many people won’t turn out to the polls next year if there are obstacles put in front of them to get there.

When I asked Aya why it was so important for her to be able to vote, she said that she couldn’t just sit back and not vote. She knows how it feels to have a voice that can’t be used to influence the decisions this country makes. Voting is an opportunity we have because we are citizens of this country; many across the globe will never have this opportunity.

Being allowed to vote is something many of us take advantage of. While the voter ID amendment won’t make it impossible for everyone to vote if it is passed, it will make it more difficult for students, elderly, homeless people, etc.

This is why MPIRG is putting all of its efforts towards our Vote NOvember Campaign. Until Nov. 6, you will see us in your classrooms, on the sidewalks and in your meetings, talking about why it is so important for us to be voting “no.”

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