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The Student Voter’s Guide to the 2018 Elections

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This year, we will go to the polls to vote on our entire Senate delegation, our federal House delegation, our Minnesota House delegation, our state governor and MANY other statewide positions. Seems hectic doesn’t it? Well that’s why we compiled this guide for eligible student voters to vote this year.

 

Wait, what’s the deal with all the elections at once?

Well, we got off lucky in 2016 due to the fact that we had no senator or governor election, and all we had to deal with were state legislature elections and the President. That luck ran out this year though, so we’ll have to brave a high amount of political ads this year.

 

Where do I start?

The first thing you should do is register to vote when you are 18. It’s your right to voice your opinion on who represents you. You have no right to complain about taxes or policy if you didn’t vote!

 

Who is on the ballot?

That’s something still up in the air, but we do know who is retiring.

  • Governor Mark Dayton is not running for re-election after leading the state since 2011. Right now, it’s a crowded field of primary candidates on both sides, but that will be weaned out during the primary in August.
  • For Senate, it will most likely be incumbent Democrat Amy Klobuchar versus a Republican challenger. No candidates have emerged on the other side yet.
  • For the other Senate seat formerly held by Al Franken, it’s most likely going to be Democrat Tina Smith versus a Republican challenger. Again, no candidates have emerged on the other side yet.
  • Our House seat is currently held by Republican Jason Lewis, and he has not confirmed that he is running for re-election or going for one of the Senate seats. If he chooses to stay in the House, he will face off against either our own Jeff Erdmann or Angie Craig on the Democratic side. Our district is a swing district, and every vote counts!
  • At the state level, only the state House of Representatives is up for election. The RHS student body is divided into two different districts, with a majority in Republican Anna Wills district and the others in Democrat Erin Maye Quade’s district. Both are competitive seats.
  • Along with that mouthful of elections, there are elections for Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Auditor and many other positions. All positions do matter and it’s best to fill in each category even if only one person is running for the seat.
  • Primary candidates are not included, but still check who is running and vote in the primaries in August.

 

My vote doesn’t matter so why should I even vote?

Not true at all. In fact one vote could have decided who controlled the Virginia House just this last fall. It could have been divided 50-50 but due to a tie in a district, they drew names from a pot and the Republicans won the drawing so the legislature is now 51-49. One vote could have changed the course of a state.

 

I want to donate to a political candidate and volunteer in their campaign.

Okay, great! But make sure to check the rules of the place you are donating to, they may not allow persons under the age of 18 to donate or volunteer.

 

It’s very important that everyone has a voice. You may have just turned 18 and are overwhelmed with grad party invites and plans for college but you also have obligations to your government. Make sure your voice is heard by the ones who rule you this fall. Go out and vote!

 

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