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Ritchie pushing student voter registration; will visit UMM Oct. 13

Minnesota's secretary of state is embarking on a statewide tour of university campuses to pre-register students prior to the Oct. 14 deadline.

Secretary of State Mark Ritchie will visit the University of Minnesota, Morris campus on Monday, Oct. 13, as part of his office's final push to pre-register students to vote this year.

Ritchie will be at the UMM Student Center to assist in answering voter questions and registering students to vote.

Ritchie will be at UMM from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Campus organizations involved in voter registration activities include: MPIRG; Student DFL; College Republicans; Equality; Art Club; Asian Student Association; NORML; KUMM Radio; Morris Volunteers; The University Register newspaper; The Counter Weight newspaper; MCSA.

Ritchie's office is preparing for record turnout this election year, and he has set a goal of achieving "80 in '08" -- 80 percent turnout of eligible voters in the 2008 general election. The last time Minnesota achieved 80 percent turnout was in 1956.

Ritchie has focused on pre-registration drives across the state throughout the summer and fall. The office is targeting young voters in particular as they historically are under-represented in voter turnout compared to the general population.

"It is so important that our young people exercise their right to vote," Ritchie said. "Our democracy depends upon the next generation embracing their responsibility as civically engaged citizens. Voting is an affirmation of our commitment to building strong and vibrant communities."

Minnesota voter registrations eclipsed an all-time high mark of 3.13 million on Sept. 17. These numbers continue to climb rapidly. As of Oct. 7, registrations were at 3.16 million.