Mapping voter same-day registrations in Minnesota

One of the issues that has surfaced as the Legislature debates Voter ID is how the proposed constitutional amendment would affect Election Day registration.

Opponents of the amendment say it will make Election Day registration impractical, and posit that a higher percentage of voters who register on Election Day tend to vote Democrat. But Voter ID supporters, including most GOP lawmakers, say the measure is critical to maintaining the state’s election integrity. They also dismiss concerns over disenfranchisement.

According to our analysis, in precincts with greater than 40 percent same-day registrations, 92 percent of those precincts gave a majority to the DFL in the 2008 presidential race; 8 percent of the precincts went to the GOP. In the 2008 state legislative race, 92 percent of the high-EDR precincts went Democratic, 5 percent went Republican.

We've mapped which Minnesota precincts receive the highest percentage of Election Day registrations based on the 2008 general elections (the darker the color, the higher the percentage), as well as the political leaning of each precinct in the 2008 congressional and presidential elections. Hover over a precinct to view the numbers, or type in your address below to zoom into your home precinct.

Read more about the Voter ID Amendment here.

Some districts may show a discrepancy in percentage because of input errors at the county level.

Map Legend

Percentage of Election Day registrations

25 – 40%
15 – 25%
10 – 15%
5 – 10%
0 – 5%
Data not available

Source: Minnesota Secretary of State

Download our data: CSV

Comments (11)

  1. Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 03/07/2012 - 09:27 am.


    Great job on the map!

  2. Submitted by Bonnie Lokenvitz on 03/07/2012 - 10:32 am.

    Primay Vs General

    I have worked as an election judge (out state) for the past several cycles. There were many same day registrations during the 2010 primary because of contested sheriff’s race and the governor’s race. Are there any statistics comparing the two? Thanks, Bonnie

  3. Submitted by Sieglinde Gassman on 03/07/2012 - 11:19 am.

    Same Day Registration Crucial

    It is clear from your wonderful map (Kudos!!!) that same-day registration is crucial to voter enfranchisement.

    I am also an election judge and am heartened by how many take the time to find the right documents or bring a neighbor to vouch for them so that they don’t miss out on voting.

    The mobility of our fellow-Minnesotans makes same day registration a must!

  4. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 03/07/2012 - 12:23 pm.

    College votes

    I live and vote in a precinct that is right in the middle of Macalester, St. Thomas and St. Kates. I’ve stood in lines that were 80% college kids and where the line for same-day voting with one person vouching for another was nothing but “college roomates” vouching for one another. I’m seriously thinking about recording the conversations where one kid asks the other which voting place is next on the list.

    If you eliminated same-day voting and limited college student voting to absentee ballots to their home district, you’d see the claims of cheating reduced significantly. Of course, the democrats would never win another election either.

    • Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 03/07/2012 - 02:03 pm.

      If you can…

      Go for it. If you can actually get a recording of conversations where one kid asks the other which voting place is next on the list, AND it is clear that they intend to vote more than one place (rather than simply provide a ride), I’ll personally kiss your shoes. Good luck with that.

    • Submitted by Robert Gauthier on 03/07/2012 - 06:42 pm.


      If they have a college ID, that should count. They are living there for 9 months and exercising good citizenship. Our do you have a bias against “snobs” in college?

  5. Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 03/07/2012 - 04:48 pm.

    college students

    I always vote “live” on election day. In my neighborhood near the U of M there are literally thousands of new college student residents each fall, and on election day they may have lived among us for as long as eight weeks. There is massive same-day registration with ever election. These kids are focused on something else and do not think to pre-register here, nor would they ever remember before an election to get an absentee ballot from “home.” Because they’re young and focusing on studies, should they be disenfranchised?

    In all my years of standing for hours amidst these young voters as we wait for the line to snake slowly around and finally get us into the voting place, I have never heard the slightest suggestion of voter fraud from them. They’re eager to vote, for many it’s the first voting opportunity, there’s a real sense of community and excitement and exercizing one’s rights.

    And, you bet: they voted Democratic, at least in 2008, by a whopping majority. As this map shows.

    Voter ID would disenfranchise them, pure and simple. I’d hate to see that, based on some invention of “I overheard. . . ” that–if true–should have been reported on the spot, and cannot be proved.

  6. Submitted by Robert Gauthier on 03/07/2012 - 06:40 pm.

    Voter suppression

    Pretty clear what the intent is going on here.

  7. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 03/07/2012 - 06:47 pm.

    Nice to see how the elimination of same day registration would actually have statewide ramifications.

  8. Submitted by Max Hailperin on 03/08/2012 - 08:33 am.

    Nice, But …

    I agree with others that praise is in order. But, I still have some suggestions for improvement.
    (1) It would be nice to have an explanation why political leaning is from a different election than EDR %.
    (2) It would be good to filter out into a neutral color the clearly erroneous data (registrations as of 7am misreported as EDR resulting in >100% EDR).
    (3) It would be good to show some indication of the absolute numbers involved; currently precincts that cover a lot of geographic area are very prominent independent of how many voters they encompass. At minimum, this ought to be shown in the hover/pop-up box. Perhaps it could be coded into the coloring. The ideal might be to do a distorted map (a “cartogram”) where precincts are shown with area proportional to voters.

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