Voter turnout efforts reach out to newly-eligible voters in Minnesota

People stand around tables and sit on couches in a converted warehouse
Believe in What's Possible held a "Turn Up to Turn Out" event at The Luminare in Minneapolis on Saturday to re-imagine voter engagement for Gen Z-ers ahead of the upcoming local elections. Local artists Jaz Steele, Yhante’, Sumer and Ariesfirebomb performed at the event, which featured free food and information on voting. Organizers walked and drove small groups of attendees to the nearby Minneapolis Early Voting Center to cast their ballots.
Feven Gerezgiher | MPR News

A collective of young people aiming to transform Minnesota politics held an event to turn out Gen Z voters in Minneapolis on Saturday.

The group, called Believe in What’s Possible, organized a concert with free food and voter resources at the Luminare, an airy converted warehouse located a 10-minute walk away from the Minneapolis Early Vote Center. Throughout the afternoon, organizers accompanied groups of attendees to cast their ballots.

“Without our voices at the table, we're not going to be able to get the solutions that we need to actually keep our community safe, to invest in young people, and to create the policy that we need to maybe see at least one step of change,” said Chelsea Sheldon, a co-founder and the programming director of Believe in What’s Possible.

Sheldon said campaigns fail to meaningfully engage with youth, often only knocking doors on college campuses in the last weeks before an election.

In contrast, the collective aims to re-imagine what political spaces can look like, experimenting with events like a paint and boba session, to draw in a new generation, members of which Sheldon said are leaders on climate injustice, gun violence, voting access, LGBTQ+ equality and other issues impacting them.

“We need to have those issues being brought up in the ballot box. We need our elected officials to be held accountable to those issues,” Sheldon said. “And we're not going to be able to do it unless our generation says, ‘Hey, we're holding you accountable right now.’”

Believe in What’s Possible is aiming to increase young voter turnout by 5 percent in next year’s primaries in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Duluth.

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