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Albert Lea High School Newspaper

THE AHLAHASA

Albert Lea High School Newspaper

THE AHLAHASA

Albert Lea High School Newspaper

THE AHLAHASA

Secretary of State

Steve Simon visits Albert Lea High School
Steve Simon presenting to Albert Lea High School on Wednesday, August 30 about preregistration.

Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon visited Albert Lea High School on Wednesday, Aug. 31 during fourth hour to discuss the importance of voting and early registering for our Juniors and Seniors, teenagers who are just now turning 16-18. 

Simon is the twenty-second Secretary of State for Minnesota. A Secretary of State in Minnesota’s job is to ensure that we have impartial, fair and secure elections. This job protects our voting rights.

According to the Office of Minnesota Secretary of State website, you can pre-register to vote as a 16- or 17-year-old in Minnesota. You must be 18 years old before voting.  All you have to do is fill out a quick form located on the Secretary’s website. Simon explains that all you have to do is prove “you are who you say you are, and you live where you say you live.”

Simon encourages everyone to vote.

“Your vote is your voice,”  said Simon. “Your vote is your power.”

According to Simon, Minnesota is actually one of the states with the highest voter turnout. Throughout his entire speech, he kept coming back to one core idea: why do people choose not to vote? With every reason not to, he brings up an even better rebuttal. 

One of the most common reasons people choose not to vote is that they think that their vote doesn’t matter. Simon’s rebuttal was that a lot of Minnesota’s elections turnout neck and neck, with one vote being the turning point for the entire election. 

Simon said, “Instead of being the passenger on a boat, you are rowing and steering the boat.” 

Young voters can register at mnvotes.gov and many did during Simon’s forum by using the QR code on the slideshow. Afterwards, students were able to ask Simon questions about his job and experience in legislation. 

Albert Lea teacher Brittany Utzka introduces Steve Simon. Utzka organized the Secretary’s visit to discuss early registration with students.
Senior Alex Palmer uses the QR codes to pre-register to vote.
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