oregon deals major blow to minnesota civic pride
michael mcdonald's election blog provides some preliminary state-by-state turnout estimates for the 2008 election:
My preliminary national turnout rate for those eligible to vote is 62.6% or 133.3 million ballots cast. This number may yet rise further as absentee ballots arrive and provisional ballots are processed, particularly in some western states. Until these outstanding ballots are counted, I would like to provide a conservative estimate. This turnout rate would be the largest since the 62.8% of 1964. If we top that number, which we might, the next highest turnout rate would be 63.8% in 1960.
by the standard of recent u.s. elections, 63 percent is a pretty respectable turnout number. the chart below arrays states by professor mcdonald's participation rates, shading them blue or red (or purple where the vote count is not yet finalized) based on the candidate and party taking home that state's electoral votes. in general, turnout was much higher in blue/obama states than in red/mccain states.
we were aiming for 80 percent turnout in minnesota, but came up a bit short at 77.5 percent of the voting eligible population. oregon wins the participation prize with 79.3 percent (not coincidentally, oregonians vote by mail). in football rivalries, minnesota competes against michigan for a little brown jug and with wisconsin for paul bunyan's axe. i'd like to see our secretaries of state competing for a li'l brown ballot box or similar traveling trophy.