FUN FACTS ABOUT SAME DAY REGISTRATION IN MINNESOTA
1. When did Minnesota start offering voter registration in the polling place on Election Day? FACT: 1974 (the same year that Minnesota began requiring all voters to register to vote)
2. How many Minnesotans use same day registration in a typical presidential election year? FACT: Typically over 500,000. In 2008 more than 542,000 voters used same day registration; in 2004, nearly 582,000 voters registered to vote on Election Day
3. What percentage of registered Minnesota voters has used same day registration one or more times? FACT: 61% -- more than one out of every two voters1
4. How does same day registration affect voter turnout? FACT: Minnesota leads the nation in voter participation and has consistently done so since it implemented same day registration.
Same day registration allows hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans who may have moved just prior to the election or who need to update their registration to do so on Election Day. Thanks to this important safety net, Minnesota is consistently number one in voter turn-out.
In the 2008 presidential election, voter turnout in same-day voter registration states was 7% higher than states that did not have it; 2 in the 2010 midterm elections, states with same-day voter registration had turnout rates 6% higher than in other states 3.
5. Voters in which age groups are most likely to use same day registration?FACT: The Minnesotans most likely to use same day registration are between the ages of 18-38 and age 93 and older.4
6. Are same day registrants’ eligibility to vote verified?FACT: Yes, in multiple ways! Same day registrants provide proof that they currently reside in the precinct and sign an oath that they are eligible. Their data is verified with the Division of Vehicle Services and/or the Social Security Administration, the Department of Corrections, and the Department of Public Safety. Local election officials check to be sure that no one voted more than once and send a non-forwardable postcard to verify their addresses. If any of these checks indicate that there’s a problem, county election officials are required to forward the information to the county attorney for further investigation and possible prosecution for a felony-level offense.
7. Who was the Secretary of State when same day registration was adopted and first used? FACT: Arlen Erdahl (Republican Secretary of State who served from 1971 to 1975)
8. Voters in which counties are most likely to use same day registration?FACT: Clay, Winona, and Blue Earth Counties
9. What other states use same day registration?FACT: Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Washington DC, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. In addition, Connecticut and California have just adopted same day registration.10. Which state led the way for same day registration?FACT: Connecticut passed a law in 1839 allowing for same day registration. ____________________________________________________________________________________________Footnotes:
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