What are your memories around voting? I’ll tell you a few of mine. I grew up in Eagan, in an area that was frequently door knocked. One time, my dad answered the door, explained he couldn’t vote, and promptly shut the door. I was old enough to understand that people should vote, but actually didn’t pay attention to if my parents did. I remember being confused that my dad couldn’t vote. I asked him about it and he explained that he wasn’t a citizen of the United States, and therefore, he couldn’t vote. My mind was blown. I think about this memory a lot because I see now that it was one of the many things that restrained my parents from participating in our democracy.
I interned for the DFL in 2012. I wrangled my friends to do phone banks, fried eggrolls for volunteers, and talked a lot about gerrymandering. I was 17, not yet old enough to cast my ballot. I remember sitting around the TV with my family on election night with wet eyes. I felt really proud that I had hundreds of conversations with voters in CD2, asking them to vote. My sisters tell me this story and laugh but I felt really proud. And, it stung a little bit that my friends and I couldn’t vote, even though we were on the phones and doors with everyone else.
In 2017, I was a field organizer for Melvin Carter, who is now the mayor in Saint Paul. I was encouraged to vote early, as many staffers on electoral campaigns are encouraged to do. It was the first time I voted early. It was also the first time I felt a deep sense of ownership about my ballot. 2016 was awful for so many reasons, and working on Melvin’s campaign was politically healing. Everyday, I heard stories from voters across Saint Paul about what mattered to them. I learned the importance of local government and could see the impact of decisions a mayor or city councilor may make. I worked so hard on Melvin’s campaign. We knocked so many doors and talked to so many people. I felt such a deep sense of responsibility. The day after election day, I woke up and felt blissful. We had won, resoundingly, and I played a role in it.
I requested my absentee ballot a few days ago. I’m planning to mail it in the minute I get it. (Checkout our new ad!)🗳️
Get ready to be a voter
Check your registration at mnvotes.org. If you need to register to vote, register on Election Day at your polling place. You can also apply for an absentee ballot and voter registration materials will be sent to you. You can also vote at your county election office. If you’re planning to vote on Election Day, mask up, use hand sanitizer, and maintain six feet of distance. Already mailed in your ballot? Track your ballot!
Thanks for being a voter. Together, we can build a joyful, just, and caring future. 🌱