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'Honor a vet'

Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie has launched his "Vote in Honor of a Veteran" program.

The initiative is meant to increase voter participation this fall and recognize military veterans.

Participants can seek a button from Ritchie's office and write on the button the name of a veteran they want to honor. They are being encouraged to wear the buttons in advance of the fall election and when they go to vote Nov. 4.

Ritchie said the initiative could encourage people who are cynical about the democratic process to reconsider, and it will foster further voter participation among young people, who already are expressing interest this year.

"I believe that this program is contributing to a wave that's already in motion and it helps add the notion of reciprocation that some have given and it's now our opportunity to give back," Ritchie said. "It's looking back in remembrance and honor and it's looking forward to our responsibilities."

The veteran initiative is part of a larger campaign by the secretary's office to get 80 percent of eligible Minnesota voters to the polls in November.

Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.