The 2014 campaign season in Minnesota came and went with few surprises.
Across the state, there were few upsets in main races, and the highest-ranking incumbents — Democrats Gov. Mark Dayton and Sen. Al Franken — remain safely in their seats for another term.
Students were largely ignored, except for a few stops by primarily liberal candidates. Republican candidates for senator and Governor also made at least one campus stop each. Many campaign events this election season were get-out-the-vote rallies that attempted to raise traditionally low student voter turnout.
As student voter turnout data becomes available after press time, it’s nearly certain the story will be the same as in years past: College-goers and young adults were in large part too apathetic or disenfranchised to head to the polls.
This shouldn’t shock anyone, especially with regard to University of Minnesota students.
At the University, students have not been exposed to a wealth of viewpoints, hearing from primarily hardline Democrats toting similar ideals. The Republican candidates are just as guilty of having homogeneous platforms.
With candidates all sharing similar, tired messages on just the red or blue side of the aisle, it makes sense that young voters often feel little reason to cast a ballot.
This must change, and the fault lies with both candidates and young voters. Politicians must engage students with issues that matter — not just, for example, running fear-mongering ads about the Ebola virus. And students, too, need to stake their claim in public affairs by making their voices loud.