Landlords could boost voting at U

Daily Editorial Board

University of Minnesota students are notoriously unreliable when it comes to heading out to vote in local elections. To begin to remedy this problem, the areaâÄôs representative on the Minneapolis City Council will propose an innovative way to get voter registration documents more directly in front of students. Ward 3 City Councilman Jacob Frey, who represents neighborhoods near the University, plans to suggest an initiative this month that would require landlords to provide voter registration documents for new tenants, the Minnesota Daily reported last week. Frey said he believes the arrangement would boost the number of student voters. Students have been lackluster voters at best for years. The University and surrounding neighborhoods reported the lowest voter turnout across Minneapolis in last yearâÄôs primary election. The Minnesota Student Association and other student organizations wage annual campaigns designed to rouse the young voter bloc. After years of âÄúget out to voteâÄù movements, itâÄôs clear that students are still sluggish to get to the polls. Working voter registration into the move-in routine may give it a commonplace feel that will jumpstart voting. On the other hand, the change may be unusual enough that students wonâÄôt buy into it, or landlords may resist. FreyâÄôs proposal is notably different from past initiatives, many of which have included voter education, clipboarding and dorm storming. We think giving landlords the responsibility to distribute voter registration documents is a needed, bold move, and weâÄôre glad city leaders are interested in engaging students civically.