Metro State Votes is a campaign to educate voters and increase participation in elections among university students and employees. The campaign is a collaborative effort between Metropolitan State University’s Student Senate, University Activities Board, Social Science department, many external collaborators, and statewide actors including Students United (Minnesota State universities’ student association) and the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office. ICES provides resources to support Metro State Votes activities and often employs a student coordinator to serve as a convener.
The 2018 National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement from the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts University, Metropolitan State University has one of the highest student voting rates in the country—at 72 percent in 2012 and 34 percent in the 2014 mid-term election. Great job Metropolitan State, and we can continue do better.
Each major election cycle, the university community learns about the voting process, candidates and their platforms, and key election issues in classrooms, through News@Metro articles and at election-related forums and tables. Special events have included a debate on Minnesota constitutional amendments, candidate forums, presidential debate screenings/discussions and mock polling stations.
Students get trained and organize others to make class presentations on how to register or update registration, vote (in-person or absentee), check voting locations and commit to vote.
Near-biannual events, Caucuses 101 and Conventions 101, prepare students and employees to actively engage in selecting candidates and setting Party platforms.
When you see “I Will Vote” stickers and a “Metro State Votes” banner across the skyway, that’s Metro State Votes in action.