Warriors Vote, a student-run organization at Winona State University, has been working to register students to vote.
The City of Winona offers various voting options for community members. Voting will be offered in various locations in Winona on Nov. 3. Winona also offers mail-in voting via absentee ballots, as well as early in-person voting at the Winona County Department of Human Services building from Sept. 18 to Nov. 2.
According to Warriors Vote member Josie Groebrer, if a student votes during a presidential election year, they are more likely to stick with it and continue voting.
Warriors Vote is suggesting that Winona State students vote via mail to decrease the risk of COVID-19 exposure.
According to a study conducted by National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement, 5,198
Winona State students registered to vote in 2016. This is a decrease of over one thousand students from the presidential election in 2012.
Warriors Vote has created videos to convince students to register to vote and posts the videos online, according to member Malorie Olson.
“Student Senate came out with a video saying we’re all in to vote, we are getting athletes to say they are going to vote,” Olson said. “We are trying to get as many groups on campus as we can to say they are going to vote. President Olson has said he is going to vote.”
Warriors Vote has also set up a table in the library with information on voting, candidate cutouts and buttons and stickers.
The Warriors Vote Instagram page has also been posting information. They have put out videos with information about how to vote for both Minnesotan and non-Minnesotan residents, as well as visiting various classes to promote voter registration.
Olson says she feels extra pressure to get students to vote due to the current political climate.
“Most of the people who come out to vote are 65+, and that is not representative of our country,” Olson said. “But they are the ones who vote and run for office and make policy. These are things we also can do that we aren’t doing.”
Kaitlyn West, fellow member of Warriors Vote, agreed that young adults aren’t showing up as often as they could be to vote.
“Our generation is good about discussing politics on social media, but not as good when it comes to actually showing up to vote,” West said.
There will be a local candidate forum via Zoom on Oct. 22, and students will be able to submit questions to the candidates by sending them to Warriors Vote’s social media pages.
Studies show that over 80% of young people have expressed that they want to make a difference, according to Warriors Vote advisor Kara Lindaman.
Member Willard Hyuck says voting can help young people make a change.
“We are in a time of profound change,” Hyuck said. “People are looking for a way to make a difference, and voting is a good way to accomplish that.”
The opinions expressed in this paper are not necessarily those of Winona State University, the Minnesota State Colleges and University system, or the Winona State University student body.