Rybak marches to promote absentee voting

Mayor gets out the word during Homecoming parade

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak joined students marching in the homecoming parade Saturday, handing out hundreds of flyers to students encouraging them to vote at City Hall before the Gophers football game.

“We are inviting students to a ‘Homecoming Doubleheader,’ which is to go to City Hall and absentee vote, and then go to the ‘Dome’ for the game,” Rybak said.

Rybak also said students who missed the “Doubleheader” can still cast an absentee ballot.

“You can absentee vote anytime between now and the election, six days a week,” he said.

The city has previously allowed absentee voting the Saturday before the election, but this is the first year when voting is allowed two Saturdays in a row.

This year’s change is because of city officials’ large voter-turnout expectation.

“There are 10,000 new voters registered this year in Minneapolis,” Rybak said.

In earlier visits to campus during this election season, Rybak said he noticed a difference in the level of enthusiasm among students.

He wants students to know that even if they’ve only lived in Minneapolis a short time, they are still eligible to vote here.

“You only need to be a resident for 20 days,” he said.

Rybak said it is important to raise awareness among college students about the ease of voting in Minnesota.

“College students are away from their home base on Election Day. We are trying to make it as easy as possible for people to vote,” he said.

Several of those University students who attended the parade said they appreciated the mayor’s efforts.

“The more representation we have, the better off we are,” said Brian Meyer, a University employee.

Several University students said they filed absentee ballots in their home districts, but not at City Hall.

Former University student Steven Stinson was persuaded to vote early, but still said he likes voting on Election Day.

“I’d rather go to the voting booth on Election Day and vote then,” he said.

Anyone can vote by absentee ballot that is going to be outside their home precinct on Election Day, or fits other criteria described at the city’s election Web site.

Freelance editor Steven Snyder welcomes feedback at [email protected]