BOOSTED BY EXTENSIVE OUTREACH EFFORTS, MINNESOTA BREAKS ALL-TIME VOTER REGISTRATION RECORD
ST PAUL, Minn.-September 26, 2008-Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie today announced that as a result of the extensive voter outreach efforts conducted by the Office of the Secretary of State the number of registered voters in Minnesota has now reached an all-time high.
"Thanks to the tireless work of our outreach staff, along with civic-minded individuals and groups throughout the state, we now have 3,145,000 registered voters in Minnesota-roughly 84 percent of eligible voters," stated Ritchie. This surpasses by 12,000 the previous record of 3,133,000 set after the 2004 presidential election.
Nearly half of the new voter registrations that have been added in 2008 (25,000 out of 55,000) were entered in September. "With just over two weeks left for voters to pre-register, I believe that at least another 20,000 voters will be added to the voter rolls before Election Day," predicted Ritchie. "You also have to add in those who will register to vote at the polls on Election Day. Every indication is that Minnesota will reach the goal of "80 in '08," a turnout of 80 percent of eligible Minnesota voters."
September is National Voter Registration Month, and to encourage citizens to register the Office of the Secretary of State has in the past month launched a voter outreach Web site that contains instructional videos for online viewing, brochures, publications, and voter registration applications available in several languages. Additionally, the Office of the Secretary of State has partnered with a number of organizations to encourage Minnesotans to register to vote.
"Setting a new record could have only occurred as the result of a wide-spread effort," Ritchie said. "The Office of the Secretary of State has been pleased to work with a variety of businesses, civic organizations, unions, schools, churches, and professional sports teams." Among the organizations that the Secretary of State's office has partnered encourage registration are the WWE's Smackdown Your Vote, Rock the Vote, the Minnesota Twins, the Minnesota Lynx, the Saint Paul Saints, the Minnesota Gophers Football Team, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo, and Cabella's. Outreach staff from the Office of the Secretary of State have conducted voter registration drives at over fifty events throughout the summer. As a result, over 25,000 voter registrations were added to the Statewide Voter Registration System in September.
The Office of the Secretary of State has set a goal of "80 in '08" or turnout of 80 percent of eligible Minnesota voters.