Gov. Jesse Ventura brought his “Get Out and Vote” message to Northrop Mall on Wednesday, urging more than 400 University students to head to the polls on Election Day.
“Do you know why (politicians) don’t talk about your issues?” Ventura asked the crowd. “Because you don’t vote.”
“Politicians know the elderly vote. They’ll focus on your issues when you become the voting bloc you need to be,” he added.
Ventura also told students to vote with their “heart and conscience” and not feel limited to major party candidates.
“There is no such thing as a wasted vote,” he added. “They said a vote for Ventura is a wasted vote; 780,000 wasted votes put me in St. Paul.”
College of Liberal Arts sophomore Jake Johnson, who attended the rally, said he understands why many young adults are reluctant to vote.
“(Young voters) are very confused, they aren’t getting questions answered. Nothing is geared towards us,” he said.
Joy Lengyel, a Carlson School of Management senior, said Ventura is in a unique position to encourage turnout because he addresses the concerns of younger voters.
“He’s well known. He brought up the voter turnout during his election and he can relate things better than a typical politician,” she said.
Monica Meyer, organizing director for MPIRG, the event’s sponsor, said potential voters should embrace Ventura’s message and participate in democracy.
“One of our main purposes is to get students engaged in the political process,” she said.”(Young voters) are one of the largest voting populations in the country. They could really impact policy.”
In the last two months, Ventura has been featured at voting rallies at colleges and universities across the state. He also appeared at the Rarig Center on Tuesday to tape an edition of “Nightline.”
The former Navy SEAL left students with one order for Nov. 7:
“Vote — the unthinkable can happen — the pro wrestler can become the governor.”
Erin Madsen covers community and welcomes comments at [email protected] She can also be reached at (612)627-4070 x3233.