MOORHEAD — Amelia Bjorklund, a senior at Moorhead High School, spent a good share of her lunch period Tuesday, Oct. 29, behind a table in the high school commons encouraging fellow students to register to vote.
She figures her efforts in recent days may result in upwards of 40 students joining the ranks of official voters in Moorhead, though she made it clear that how fellow students vote on a given issue or candidate is their business and she wasn't out to promote any particular point of view.
Students who do register to vote and are 18 years of age will be able to cast votes in the Nov. 5 election in Moorhead, which will decide a $110 million bond issue. If the bond issue passes, the money would be used by Moorhead Area Public Schools to demolish the current high school and build a new one in its place.
Money would also go toward transforming the former Sam's Club building in south Moorhead into a career academy.
Bjorkland said as a student of debate, she believes keeping an open mind and staying informed promotes cooperation in a community, and one of her main goals was to make young people aware that they, too, can have a say in the future.
"Kids don't realize their voice matters," Bjorkland said.
At 17, Bjorkland won't be old enough to vote in Tuesday's election, but she said even if someone isn't yet 18, they can register to vote so they're ready to go when they become legal to cast a ballot.
Fellow senior Maren Twedt, who at the age of 17 was in the same boat as Bjorkland, voting-wise, listened to Bjorkland's pitch Tuesday and vowed to register.
So when will the 17-year-old start voting?
"As soon as I can," Twedt said.