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The votes are in: Minnesota elections get high marks

Minnesota was ranked second in the nation in Pew Charitable Trusts’ Election Performance Index, which measured many process indicators.

Minnesota’s election process was rated second in the nation in a new report by the Pew Charitable Trusts.

North Dakota got to top ranking; Wisconsin was third. Lowest on list was Mississippi.

The Election Performance Index looked at many factors including:

  • Wait times at polling locations
  • Availability of online voting information tools
  • Rejection of voter registrations
  • Problems with registration or absentee ballots
  • Rejection of military and overseas ballots
  • Voter turnout
  • Accuracy of voting technology

Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, happy with the results, said:

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“Engaged voters, helpful online voter tools, and great work of local election officials and election judges are the engines driving the success of Minnesota’s elections. This is a significant election year, and it’s our goal to continue to build on our past success and increase voter turnout.”

Some of the Gopher State highlights from the index:

  • The nation’s highest voter turnout rate in 2008 (78 percent) and 2012 (76 percent). 
  • The state’s rate of nonvoting due to registration or absentee ballot problems was the second-lowest in the nation in 2008 and 2012. 
  • Minnesota has had Election Day registration since 1974. More than half a million people typically use Election Day registration during a presidential election, and 61 percent of registered voters have used it at least once.
  • In 2012, Minnesota had four online voting lookup tools — registration check, polling place finder, absentee ballot status check, and sample ballot viewer. Minnesota added online voter registration in 2013. 
  • Minnesota’s rate of mail ballots unreturned was 4.3 percent, one of the lowest in the country.