Wednesday, December 14, 2005

What if they hired a get-out-the-vote bus and nobody came? 

In one of the emails sent yesterday to exhort the campus get out the vote effort to greater energy and greater success, the brilliant professor who offered balanced analysis of the voting issues also said this:
This morning, when I voted, the auditor's office was training temp staff to handle the crush from today's get-out-the-vote effort.

He's not a very good forecaster, according to the local paper:

An alternate Election Day on St. Cloud State University's campus Tuesday resulted in about 30 new voters registering and casting absentee ballots, a student government representative said.

At the Stearns County Auditor-Treasurer's office, however, officials said they only noticed one walk-in from the student drive.

About 30 people showed up to vote at Atwood Memorial Center from 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m., said Christyne Hesse, the student government's legislative affairs chairwoman. Of those, about 10 took a free shuttle to the Stearns County government center to cast their absentee ballots.

Another 20 or so turned in registration cards or absentee ballots that were delivered with the voters, she said.

Nobody noticed any shuttles delivering people at the Stearns County offices Tuesday, Auditor-Treasurer Randy Schreifels said.

One student walked in to pick up an absentee ballot, he said.

Commenters on the Times' story chat (including a school board member -- what is it with elected officials and Story Chat here in St. Cloud, anyway?) bemoan this as the decline of participation of the young in the political process. Moreover, our university has a course in "democratic citizenship" and we are supposed to help students understand responsible citizenship in society. Perhaps instead they simply don't feel that they are members of the St. Cloud community and therefore are not voting here. In that case, they show far more sense than the chatters, student government, or the faculty here at SCSU. Indeed, I might even call them responsible!