The Census Bureau confirmed Monday what Minnesotans have long known and can be proud of: Voters here consistently lead the nation in casting their ballots.
Newly released census figures show that in the 2008 presidential election, 75 percent of eligible Minnesotans voted, a figure equaled only by the District of Columbia. Nationally, voter turnout averaged 63.6 percent. At the low end were Hawaii and Utah, with 52 percent voter participation.
Minnesota's high turnout helped propel the Midwest to a regional lead as well. Midwesterners came out on top at 66 percent. The West, Northeast and South each came in at 63 percent.
For the nation as a whole, about 131 million people reported voting in the 2008 presidential election, an increase of 5 million from 2004.
The increase included about 2 million more African-American voters, 2 million more Hispanic voters and 600,000 more Asian voters. The number of non-Hispanic white voters remained statistically unchanged.
ELECTION HYPE TURNED ON ITS HEAD: Predictions that Obama's candidacy would bring out more voters didn't pan out, and turnout dipped for first time in 12 years. A4