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MN Known For High Voter Turnout, But 700,000 Not Registered

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(credit: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: CBS) Susie Jones
Susie Jones has been with WCCO Radio since 1996. She started as a...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — On National Voter Registration Day, organizers are out trying to encourage more people to register to vote. There are still 700,000 eligible voters who haven’t registered.

Here in Minnesota, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie says there is a three-pronged approach.

The first, he says, is making sure everyone knows what the procedure is, and second making people feel welcome to vote.

“There are people coming here from other countries, where they were discouraged or not allowed to vote,” Ritchie said.

At the Minnesota State Fair, they have “practice” voting machines, for young people to try out, and at schools, when they vote for the Homecoming King and Queen, they’re also encouraged to register.

Ritchie says often times it’s not as difficult as they think.

“Once they vote, they’ll probably for life,” he said.

Another obstacle, Ritchie says, is time. People are busy. But in Minnesota, there are solutions to that problem.

“We have same day registration, and absentee ballots,” he said.

The third approach, he says, is to try to connect voting to the nation’s history by reminding people that there were people who fought for the right to vote.

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