Not only is Minnesota ranked as one of the highest states for turnout in presidential elections, but it also has high showings in the non-general election, as well as a steady increase in turnout for minorities and millennials.
Minnesota has had the highest voter turnout in 12 of the past 16 presidential elections, including the past eight straight. Minnesota’s average voter turnout in the past six elections, 67.6 percent, is over 15 percentage points higher than the national average.
If that isn’t impressive enough, Minnesota minority voter turnout continues to grow in the presidential elections, too.
Asian voters made huge gains in the state, improving their turnout rate from 34 percent in 2008 to 56 percent in 2012. That rate was the highest turnout of Asian voters in the nation.
Millennials in our state, voters between the ages of 18-33, rank second in voter turnout nationwide. This sends a huge message out about Minnesota, considering the huge push to get young people involved in politics and the community.
In local elections, Minnesota voter turnout statistics from the secretary of states office have kept a steady growth rate averaging around 60 percent across the state in the last 10 years. That’s an increase of around 10 percent since the 1980s.
So what’s the secret to our high numbers of voters? Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie attributes the state’s consistently high rating to state policies and an emphasis on reducing barriers to voting access.
Richie says the introduction of same-day registration was a huge benefit to Minnesota voters.
“It’s clearly a critical factor, Election Day registration can increase voter turnout by 500,000 people in a presidential election year. And more than 60 percent of Minnesotans have taken advantage of it in their lifetime.”
Ritchie was elected Secretary of State eight years ago, and has been focusing on educating Minnesotans on the “nuts and bolts” of voting. Election officials go as far as visiting high school civics classes and educating students on why it’s important to vote to increase voter turnout.
Experts have gushed about our state’s voting education initiatives and the ease of voting access:
“Minnesota is a state firing on all cylinders. The prescription for higher levels of voter participation in the United States is thus clear. Do what Minnesota does: make it easy for people to vote, educate your citizenry, and hold interesting elections.”
Keep up the good work, Minnesota! The election is just around the corner so remember to vote on November 4th!