Minnesota’s election system is one of the best in the country but could be improved, especially with a complete online registration system, said Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie during his visit Thursday in Rochester. Ritchie referred to the Elections Performance Index report released Thursday by the Pew Charitable Trusts. The report uses data from all 50 states and the District of Columbia and ranks their election systems according to 17 criteria. Minnesota ranked No. 1 in election administration, but was “dinged” slightly, Ritchie said, because it still doesn’t allow people to update voter registration information online. The system allows people to check their registration, but doesn’t allow changes.
“We haven’t had the money to complete the process,” Ritchie said. “And in Minnesota, when you move even just across the hallway in an apartment building, you must re-register.”
He said Minnesota is behind other states in online registration, which is not only convenient and more accurate, but saves local governments money. Also, he said, it encourages more people, especially young voters, to get registered because so many more people these days are used to doing business online.
He said online registration also helps the Secretary of State’s office because it provides electronic data that can be verified using several other databases.