Community Spotlight: CLC Hopes To See High Student Voter Turnout
Central Lakes College has been working hard this semester to motivate and energize students to get out and vote in the midterm elections. Voter turnout is expected to be high tomorrow, and CLC hopes to be a part of that trend.
“Just go out there and vote. Make your voice heard,” said college student Archiebald Jacob, who is voting for the first time on Tuesday.
“As a young group of people, we’re the next generation, and so it’s really important for us to be able to speak our minds and put it towards the polls,” explained Hannah Aldrich, a student at Central Lakes College and first-time voter.
At CLC, a Democracy Dinner was held today to remind students that if they haven’t already voted, to get to the polls and make their voices heard.
“We were able to receive a grant from Lead MN; it’s the student-wide association of the state and they’re giving out grants, really trying to do a final push on getting students out to the polls. When they get here in the cafeteria we meet with them, sit down with them, make sure they’ve got a plan for voting if they haven’t voted yet,” said Erich Heppner, Director of Student Life at CLC.
The Democracy Dinner marked the culmination of a months-long initiative by Central Lakes College to get students to the polls.
“It really does matter, and I think especially this year there’s going to be contests in the county, state-wide, even at the federal level, that are so close that just a few voters make up the difference. So if students want to be listened to by the different politicians and parties out there, they really need to be looked at as a power house in voting,” added Heppner.
In the last midterm elections, 32.4 percent of CLC students voted. This year, their goal is to raise that number to around 50 percent.
“Even higher would be awesome. During a presidential election we’re closer to 70 percent. So if we could get close to that, I think that would be a big success here at the college,” Heppner added.
The events have attracted many first-time voters.
“Well, it’s my first year voting, so it’s like my opinion mattered too so I want to be out there. I want to voice my opinion,” explained Jacob.
“It is my first year. I’m so excited. I am pumped I’m going to be able to make a stand for what I believe and put that to the polls,” Aldrich said.
There are many important issues that affect college students.
“There’s a lot of college students, and if we all come together we’ll have a powerful voice for the things that we want,” said Jacob.
“I just think everyone deserves to have their vote. It’s part of the democracy of America and I think it’s important for you to at least get your opinion out there and let people know that it’s important,” explained CLC student Victoria Foss.
No matter what happens tomorrow, these students are excited to have their voices heard.
“Every vote counts. You may not think every vote counts, but it does,” said Aldrich.
“Get out of your comfort zone and go vote,” added Jacob.