MN Secretary of State promotes the vote at South High school


Oliver Hall

Students discuss positive encouragement with Secretary of State.

Oliver Hall, Staff Writer

“I don’t think there is any such thing as a wasted vote”, a belief stated by the Minnesota Secretary of State, Steve Simon, in a meeting with Student Council members and the 2016 South High Student Election Judges in the media center on September 27th.

Simon is the 22nd Minnesota Secretary of state and was sworn in on January 5th, 2015. He is in charge of ensuring the election system is fair, helping people create businesses and helping victims of domestic abuse. His goal is to do all of these things, including visiting high schools and explaining the importance of voting.

He believes the student body has a place in the upcoming election: ”Your reputation as a school is that you’re active and you’re involved,” he said.  He believes that South has a reputation for political involvement due in part to being one of the first schools to sign up for a mock election (a system in which students ‘vote’ for their preferred president in a fake election). He also believes that voting is in the student’s best self interest.

He believes students, if eligible, should vote because they’re “not gonna get the results they want unless they get the people they want into office,” Simon said.

A South government teacher Richard Folner mentioned that the 18-25 year old age range rarely votes: ”I’d say that by far Minneapolis students are more likely to vote” Folner said. In 2012 about half of the eligible voters between 18 and 29 voted in 2012 which proved the difference for 4 states last election.

During the meeting, various student council members also stated that they believe encouragement for voting would be more effective than discouragement for not voting. “Less of a: if you don’t vote it’s bad for everyone else more of a: if you do vote then you get a say”

Also in the meeting, another student expressed the privilege people today have to vote and how for years different people struggled to be able to vote. “People have fought and bled and died for the right to vote” Simon said.

He said: “I would much rather have someone vote than not vote.”

Student election judge Will Scofield said that “If you’re going to complain about who is elected and the people in power in our government then you should first contribute to our government because if you don’t contribute then you have no reason to complain.”

“Voting is important.” summarized Cassidy Burns another election judge.

The majority of students at South will not be able to vote but South’s emphasis on politics is bound to impact eligible voters.