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Secretary of State Ritchie disputes Census claim that Minnesota was No. 3 in voter turnout

Ritchie says the Census data was flawed and Minnesota was No. 1.

It hardly seemed right when the Census Bureau released a report this week saying Minnesota was third in voter turnout in the 2012 election, behind Mississippi and Wisconsin.


Minnesota’s Secretary of State Mark Ritchie didn’t think it sounded right, either. He issued a statement Thursday disputing the Census Bureau report.

Bottom line, he says, we’re still No. One.

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“We rely on the actual data that comes from Election Day and this has proven for decades to be the most accurate reflection of eligible voter turnout,” Ritchie said. “Minnesota voters delivered the highest turnout rate of eligible voters in the nation in 2012 as reported last fall. In that election, we also saw a record turnout in our state’s history.”

He adds:

“Criticism of their methodology is widespread, and the report simply is not an accurate reflection of voter turnout.”

And he points to other experts, besides himself, who back up that claim:

The 2012 General Election Turnout Rates report, published by the U.S. Election Project at George Mason University, is considered the most accurate measurement of voting results in the county. It compares official voter data provided by election officials based on actual voter turnout on Election Day. The 2012 report provides the following data for 2012 eligible voter turnout:

  •  Minnesota — 75.7 percent (number-one in the nation)
  •  Wisconsin — 72.5 percent
  •  Mississippi — 59.7 percent.