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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Limos will let MSU students vote in style on Tuesday

2006-04-09

By Robb Murray, Free Press Staff Writer [published in The Free Press, Mankato]

MANKATO " Thanks to the creativity of Katie Boone, Minnesota State University students officially have no excuse not to vote.

Not only is there a critical mass of voter registration efforts on campus, but now any MSU student who wants a classy ride to the polls Tuesday can have one: Boone secured a grant this week that will fund a series of limousines that will shuttle students from campus to the polls and back on election day.

"I'm hoping everybody that wants to go vote that day is gonna want to ride in the limo," said Boone, who insists the effort is 100 percent nonpartisan.

Boone had attended a training session last summer by the group Vote, Run, Lead, which focuses on boosting the number of women taking part in politics. The group also supports the general idea of young people getting involved in the world around them.

From there she decided to do something to further that ideal. That's when she got the idea of free limo rides for college students.

She wrote a grant to a New York-based organization called The White House Project, a national group similar to Vote, Run, Lead.

They liked Boone's idea and ponied up $475, enough to secure a few limos for a day and a little bit of advertising. She plans to take out ads in the MSU student newspaper, The Reporter.

She's also getting some help from the limo company, Limo-Scene Exotic Coaches.

"When I was thinking about the importance of the young vote, I remembered we've got this limo company in town that's run by a bunch of young guys."

That would be co-owners Jay Anderson and Nate Nelson, both of whom believe in Boone's proposal.

"It seems like she's really got her ducks in a row at this," Anderson said.

As a student himself, Anderson said he knows how tough it can seem, after having fought for a parking spot and trekked to class, to figure out a good time to vote, squeeze in lunch and library time, head back to your car, find the precinct and vote, head back to campus and find a new place to park and hurry back to class.

"I'm a current student," Anderson said. "I know how it is."

Limos will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Depending on demand, Anderson said he may even use the company's Humvee limo. That's the one that seats the most people. It also may be the biggest draw to the college crowd.

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