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Constitution Day 2020

The following message was sent to students, staff, and faculty on September 17, 2020:

Students and colleagues,

Today is Constitution Day, an annual occasion that commemorates the signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787. This year also marks the centennial of the 19th amendment, which extended voting rights to women across the country. Together, these events provide a timely reminder of our civic responsibilities, rights, and privileges.

To mark this day each year, publicly funded schools engage in programs that help us better understand our Constitution and its continued relevance. Earlier this week our Social Science faculty and Briggs Library staff hosted the forum “The Constitution: Why Our Shared Values are Important.” I’d like to extend my thanks to them for providing their expertise on this important topic. If you missed the forum, you can review the material online

We are reminded this Constitution Day not only of our nation’s history, but also of the role we each play in shaping its future. One piece of that role is exercising our right to vote. As we celebrate the extension of this right to women 100 years ago this fall, we must also recognize that the fight for democratic inclusion is ongoing—traditionally marginalized individuals and communities continue to face obstacles to casting votes. And the COVID-19 pandemic will present additional challenges to all voters in the upcoming election.

The University of Minnesota Morris prides itself on equipping students to be engaged, active, and conscientious citizens. This pride is inherent in our public mandate and academic mission, which is why I encourage all of you—students, faculty, staff, and administrators—to exercise your right to vote in the 2020 election. 

Visit z.umn.edu/votes before October 13 to register, request an absentee ballot, and get election information. Once you’ve registered, you can encourage your networks to Be a Voter, too. When it comes time to cast your vote, you can choose to vote in person at your polling place on November 3, you can mail an absentee ballot (must be postmarked by November 3), or you can vote early at an early voting location or the county election office.

This has been a turbulent year. Times like this can leave us feeling powerless. One of the most important actions we can take to create the future we want to see is to make our voices heard, so raise your voice and Be a Voter this November. If you have questions, visit z.umn.edu/votes or contact the Office of Student Activities. Thank you for all that you do to move our campus, community, state, and nation forward. 

Michelle