There’s something happening in Minnesota. Neighbors are getting their blocks together to register voters. Volunteer activism is through the roof. In August’s primary, more than 900,000 Minnesotans turned out to vote, the highest since 1982!
It’s not a secret why this is happening. We’re living through as challenging a political time as most of us can remember.
We’re watching the Trump administration and their allies try to drive us apart by religion, who we love, what we look like or where we come from while giving huge tax breaks to corporations and the very wealthy. They’re attacking health care coverage for those with pre-existing conditions and abandoning efforts to tackle climate change. We’re seeing children separated from their families at the border and Minnesota families broken apart by inhumane immigration policies.
It’s no wonder Minnesotans are mobilizing. And it’s just in time. The stakes for this November’s election are incredibly high.
For the first time in over thirty years, we have both Senate seats and the governor’s seat on the ballot. We have an open attorney general’s seat. Control of the state House and Senate are in play. We have an historic opportunity to make a statement about the direction we want Minnesota to head, but it will take all of us to make this statement bold and strong.
First, and most important, be a voter!
In fact, why not vote now? You can vote in person at the Minneapolis Early Vote Center, 217 S. 3rd St., 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. weekdays until Oct. 19 and 7 a.m.–6 p.m. weekdays Oct. 22– Nov. 2. The center is also open the two weekends before the election.
You can also vote from home by requesting a ballot online through the Secretary of State’s office, no excuse needed. (The Secretary of State website is full of useful information about getting registered, who is on your ballot, where you vote and more.) Or go the traditional route and vote on Nov. 6.
Second, call your friends and family and remind them to vote.
Do you have a kid in college or traveling? Remind them to get an absentee ballot! Is there a friend who may not always remember to vote? Give them a ring or send them a text!
Walk them through their plan to vote. Are they voting early or on Election Day? It will be great to catch up and you can feel good knowing you’ve recruited one more voter.
Third, organize your block or building.
Your neighbors in the 4900 block of Garfield Avenue are setting the bar by organizing all blocks around them to go door to door and ensuring each one of their neighbors votes. Amazing!
Bring some registration forms to your block party, or just take it on yourself before Election Day to make sure everyone has what they need to vote. Feel free to remind your neighbors their vote is secret but whether they vote is public, and they don’t want to let their neighbors down.
Pick a campaign and help door knock or phone bank. Even if it’s your first time, this is the year to get involved. It’s a great way to meet people and to connect with folks on what matters most to them.
We’ll have plenty of volunteer opportunities posted on our Facebook pages between now and election. Or if you prefer, volunteer for a non-partisan group like the League of Women Voters and register voters.
We all remember what it felt like to wake up on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. How great will it feel to wake up after Election Day this year knowing we’ve sent an unmistakable message that we want a country that is caring, green and welcoming?
Let’s get to work!
Scott Dibble, Frank Hornstein and Jamie Long
(The writers are, respectively, the state senator for District 61, state representative for District 61A and a candidate for the state House in District 61B. All three are members of the DFL.)