Minnesota is the nation’s undisputed champion when it comes to voter turnout.
About 76 percent of Minnesota residents who were eligible to vote in the 2012 election cast a ballot, leading the nation for the eighth time in the past nine presidential elections, according to a report from Boston-based Nonprofit VOTE.
One reason: Minnesota allows voters to register on Election Day. The state began offering same-day registration in 1974 and more than 500,000 voters typically avail themselves of the privilege, according to the state elections office.
Seven of the 10 states with the highest voter turnout in 2012 allowed for Election Day registration were so-called swing states where President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney devoted most of their time, or both, according to the report.
Minnesota was on the periphery of competitive states in the 2012 election, backing Obama by eight points and siding with the Democratic presidential ticket for the tenth consecutive election.
The four states with the next-highest voter turnout rates were closer. Wisconsin, the home state of Republican vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan, had the second highest turnout rate at 73 percent; it went for Obama by 7 points. Colorado (Obama by 5), New Hampshire (Obama by 6) and Iowa (Obama by 6) rounded out the top five.
About 59 percent of eligible voters nationwide turned out to vote in 2012, compared with 62 percent in 2008.