Be a Voter!

By Bruce Yernberg

Ok … I admit it I have a couple of favorite politicians.

Recently I heard Steve Simon speak in Red Wing, MN.  It was at Bay Point Park.  It’s a beautiful park, island like.  Most people go there just to watch time and the Mississippi pass by.  Recently about 50 of us from the Red Wing area were there to listen to what our MN Secretary of State had to say about things.

Day after day the national cable news readers comment on potential election difficulties.  Simon on the other hand is a positive politician.  He speaks unlike any other.  He connects with his audience in a quiet, almost bland, but reassuring way.  Elections are solid in Minnesota I thought.

A question was asked of him about how to encourage those eligible, who don’t vote in Minnesota (about 20%), to vote.  Simon says that’s a question he is always asked.  He told a story that a friend of his recently told him.  His friend said how about if we tell non-voting folks to “be a voter”.  In other words when shaming, criticizing and the old civic duty trick don’t work just say … “be a voter”.

Perhaps a campaign of “be a voter”--yard signs, buttons and stickers could be developed.  May be the LWV could adopt the saying.  It is a non-partisan saying.  Like Steve Simon said, “I don’t know if it would work, but it can’t hurt.”