It’s Election Day, sort of

Minnesota is one of the nation’s leaders when it comes to elections. More of its citizens vote than just about any other state, and it leads the nation in voter registration, thanks in part to the same-day registration process. Recently, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie said the state is on pace for an 80-percent turnout in the coming election.

Ohio has taken a page from Minnesota, and then some. Ohio started voting today after a state court (dominated by Republicans) rule that newly registered voters can register and then vote by absentee ballot on the same day. That day is today.

Republicans hate the idea. Democrats love it because they can get college kids (who lean Democrat) to register and vote with a minimum amount of effort.

Last month I blogged about a day-long conference on voting systems and the one message I took away was that young people have the least amount of patience when it comes to voting. if there are long lines, or problems with voting machines, the younger age group will turn around and go home.

Julia Kramer, 19, a Case Western Reserve University freshman from New York City and an Obama volunteer, told the Associated Press she’s been trying to get out-of-state students to change their registration to Ohio. “A lot of people are really attached to their hometowns,” Kramer said. “It’s hard to explain to people that your vote (in New York) won’t count as much.”

Both Obama and McCain officials say they’re prepared to take advantage of the early-voting law in Ohio. And NPR’s Robert Smith reported that the voters in Ohio are being barraged with political ads now that voting has opened.

As for you, Minnesota, if you don’t want to go through the Election Day hassle of registering, you have to register by October 14.

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