The online voice of cambridge campus students
by Kirsten Kennedy

oday’s political climate seems exclusive rather than inclusive; with candidates spending millions of dollars to make us believe that they are the right choice for Minnesota. I must admit to feeling hoodwinked by the smooth talking, prompter reading politicians; however, after spending two hours interviewing Minnesota Secretary of State, Mark Ritchie, I might just have to change my view.

First, I discovered that Mr. Ritchie arrived in Minnesota to participate in a food think tank. He also founded the first USA and Headwaters Peace Coffee, which was the first certified fair trade coffee company in America. He has served on the Environmental Policy Committee and as the Board Chair for the U of M Agricultural Growth and Justice Committee.

Many of us know Mr. Ritchie from the momentous recount between Norm Coleman and Al Franken for senate. Mr. Ritchie also took this opportunity to support complete transparency by fighting for net neutrality, which allowed the world to watch the recount via "The Up Take". I learned that even homeless citizens have the right to cast a vote; they can have shelter personnel, police or private citizens vouch for them. One big change is that absentee voters have 45 days before primaries and general elections to cast their vote. Also, anyone can visit the internet site for Mark Ritchie, MN Secretary of State and track their absentee vote. Citizens can also check to make sure they are registered.

Mr. Ritchie remains committed to making sure that every citizen living in Minnesota who casts a vote gets counted, and that my friend is why Minnesota continues to rank among the best states for voter rights and equality. There are 4,000 polling places in Minnesota with same day registration, so I am asking each of us to exercise our right to vote and take part in shaping history.

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