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Reader's View: Excitement of voters at UMD contagious

More came, wondering how the system worked (this was the first time for many of them) and excited to be able to vote.

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I wish to tip my hat to all the University of Minnesota Duluth students who voted on Nov. 8.

On Election Day, I was assigned the 10th precinct, located at UMD. The big question was whether college students would show up to vote, and soon we had our answer: Our first voters showed up. Then more came, wondering how the system worked (this was the first time for many of them) and excited to be able to vote.

Then the lines came, never too long, but they kept us on our toes. Most of the students had issues to deal with, including not being registered in their new precinct, registering earlier but at their home address, or registering for the first time. Of the more than 800 voters we had, 692 were newly registered youth in the 10th precinct. Every time the students faced an obstacle, they faced it willingly and with determination to vote. Go back and get a registration form, run and get a bill at your dorm, search for a bill on your phone with your current address. The excitement on their faces when they fulfilled a requirement and moved one step closer to voting filled me with the same excitement.

What struck me most is I live in a state that allows for same-day voting and pathways for youth to learn how the system works while also providing pathways to the ballot. A voter's first experience with voting can affect their habits in the future. I hope these students had an experience that motivates them to vote in the next election.

I extend my appreciation to all who voted in the 10th precinct at UMD for making my voting day experience as an election judge a grand experience.

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Timothy Velner

Duluth

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