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Minnesota No. 2 in elections management, study says

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Minnesota is second only to North Dakota when it comes to holding effective elections, a new report says.

The Pew ranking released Tuesday analyzes states based on 17 factors that measure a state's election effectiveness. Among them: voter registration rates, voter turnout, registration or absentee ballot problems and voter wait times.

Minnesota's overall rank had the state No. 2 in the 2012 and 2010 elections, and No. 3 in 2008 (behind North Dakota and Wisconsin).

The state's high overall score was boosted by several high rankings: In 2012, Minnesota was No. 2 for fewest voter registrations rejected and No. 2 for fewest registration or absentee ballot problems. The state was 11th for voter wait time, an average of 6.2 minutes.

The state also was ranked No. 1 for voter turnout in 2012 at 76.1 percent, long a point of pride for Secretary of State officials.

In fact, the 2012 election prompted a skirmish over whether the state had slipped from a coveted No. 1 spot in voter-turnout rankings. The Associated Press had called it for Minnesota after the election, but a Census report said Minnesota was third, behind Mississippi and Wisconsin.

Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie at the time challenged the data.

CNN examined five reasons that Minnesota is consistently tops in voter turnout: same-day voter registration, a civic culture, awareness raising, no voter ID laws and a vibrant political scene.

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