The Voting Capital Of America

You can't always predict how Minnesotans will vote. After all, they elected a professional wrestler as governor. But as CBS News correspondent Cynthia Bowers reports, there's one thing you can always bank on: Minnesotans will vote.

Even former vice presidents have to wait in line in Minnesota.

"That's what we do here; we all vote," former Vice President Walter Mondale says.

Well, almost everyone. In 2004, 77 percent of eligible voters turned out, compared with 60 percent for the nation as a whole. But it's midterm elections like this one in which this state really shines. Four years ago, 64 percent cast ballots. That's 25 percent more than the national average.

In Minnesota, when it comes to voting there is no such thing as an "off-year" election. And don't say it's because there is nothing else to do. That just won't fly.

"It all goes back to the old principle if you don't vote, you can't complain — and I like to complain," Minnesota resident Joe Mill says.

This year promises to be another barn-burner in a once-reliably Democratic state that's now neither red nor blue.

"Minnesota is a purple state, and we have real parity between the parties and competition tends to bring people out," says Larry Jacobs of the University of Minnesota.

Minnesota is one of only six states that offer same-day voter registration. That alone ups turnout by 15 percent.

But perhaps the biggest key to success is that Minnesota thinks small. Simply put, they raise voters here. Thanks to the program Kids Voting, this year some 80,000 schoolchildren will go to the polls with mom and dad.

"It's good to teach kids at a young age that it's always good to vote and every vote counts," Natalie Ostrow says.

Native Minnesotan Al Franken still marvels at the 85 percent turnout at one college campus in the state in 2004.

"When I was in college, we didn't have 85 percent turnout at classes," Franken says.

In Minnesota, it seems everyone wants a say on Election Day.