Not quite there

Although the state canvassing board still has to certify Minnesota election results, preliminary numbers show Minnesota voters did not turn out in projected record numbers this year. The Secretary of StateâÄôs office is reporting that nearly 2.9 million voters cast ballots this year âÄî a record. But in terms of percent of eligible voters, the true measure of voting, less than 78 percent of eligible voters cast ballots in the state. ThatâÄôs far from disappointing; on the contrary, it will perhaps be one of the highest numbers in the nation. Minnesota nevertheless did not surpass the expected 80 percent in this historic election âÄîillustrating that even in one of the best states in the administration of elections, voting is a precarious civic exercise. To be sure, the Editorial Board can do nothing but praise the state in running a smooth election process. There were no major systematic problems on Election Day. The state has taken precautionary measures to improve an already sound process âÄî such as making it illegal for party challengers, who may question the eligibility of voters if they âÄúpersonallyâÄù know their status, to come from out of state. Secretary of State Mark Ritchie has taken steps to improve the voting process for servicemen and women. Same day registration is a veritable magnetic for increasing voting numbers. Minnesota, in short, is a model for the nation in how to run elections. But thereâÄôs room for improvement. Particularly, we saw long lines as a potential deterrent. The state should be willing to invest in staffing more elections judges, interpreters and voting machines. Moreover, the state âÄî along with civic activist groups âÄî should continue to improve its education process about how to vote. For all the state does, however, voting is, in the end, up to the people.