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The votes are in: Minnesota elections get high marks

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:

“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.

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