MN Colleges are Required to Provide Voter Registration Forms, but are They?

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 20, 2018   For more information, contact Kristen Muthig (o) 202-331-0114 (c) 419-706-3431 kmuthig@fairelectionscenter.org   Minnesota Colleges and Universities are mandated to provide students voter registration forms, but are they? Some campuses confused by separate state mandate, despite exclusion from federal requirement Washington, D.C. – With the fall term underway and the 2018 midterms rapidly approaching the Fair Elections Center’s Campus Vote Project contacted colleges and universities across Minnesota this week to reminder them of the state requirement that all postsecondary institutions “provide voter registration forms to each student as early as possible in the fall quarter” and ““[i]nstitutions shall consult with their campus student government in determining the most effective means of distributing the forms and in seeking to facilitate election day registration of students…” These requirements in Minnesota Statute §201.1611 are separate from a similar federal requirement contained in the Higher Education Act, which Minnesota is excluded from due to the fact that Minnesota allows for Election Day registration as well.  Campus Vote Project participated in the Democracy in Action Summit hosted at Minneapolis College last month and heard from participants that they were not aware of their institution complying with Minnesota Statute §201.1611, and that some institutions may be confusing it with a separate federal statute that Minnesota campuses are exempt from.  For example, see this post from Normandale Community College about the federal statute but failing to mention the state requirement to distribute voter registration forms – www.normandale.edu/directory/disclosures/voter-registration “Thanks to the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement we know that nearly 84% of students at Minnesota institutions that were registered...