At our October 2022 meeting we were joined by Lori Sturdevant to discuss the history that made Minnesota one of the leading states in voter turnout and participation. That history is detailed in a 2020 book coauthored by Sturdevant and Joan Anderson Growe titled Turnout: Making Minnesota the State That Votes.
Joan Anderson Growe served as Minnesota Secretary of State from 1975 to 1999. Known for her work to encourage voter participation, her tenure was one of the longest of any secretary of state in Minnesota's history. Before running for secretary of state, Growe was a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives from 1973 to 1974. As a state legislator, Growe supported the Minnesota same-day voter registration law (the first in the country) and later, as Secretary of State, she worked to implement it. Since then, Minnesota has consistently had the highest voter turnout in the United States. Fun fact: those iconic “I Voted” stickers were originally introduced in Minnesota in the early 1990’s by Growe in order to build excitement around voting and instill a sense of pride and community.
Lori Sturdevant is a journalist and author who retired in December 2018 after 43 years with the Minneapolis Star Tribune, writing on Minnesota government and politics. She is now an occasional contributor to the Star Tribune Opinion Exchange section. She is the author, co-author, or editor of a dozen books.
Unfortunately Joan Anderson Growe was unable to attend but we were delighted to have Lori Sturdevant join us for an engaging discussion!