Minnesota: Land of 700,000 unregistered voters

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Minnesota often prides itself on its voter-turnout rate, among the very top in the nation.

But the state still has 700,000 eligible and unregistered voters.

Tuesday is National Voter Registration Day, when civic groups nationwide hit the streets in an effort to swell the ranks of state voter rolls.

Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie says his office will be working with the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS), League of Minnesota Cities and Minnesota Council of Nonprofits to coordinate statewide voter registration efforts.

“While Minnesota leads the nation in voter turnout, we still have over 20% of our state’s eligible voters not casting a ballot," Ritchie said.

Last year, 32 Minnesota community organizations reported helping 670 voters register on National Voter Registration Day, according to the secretary of state's office.

State elections officials have always made it a point of pride to post the highest voter turnout rates in the nation. Last fall, 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.

In the 2012 elections, nearly 76 percent of Minnesotans voted. That prompted a skirmish over whether the state had slipped from its 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. Ritchie challenged the data.

Here's a list of states and their voter turnout rates, compiled by George Mason University.

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