Tales from the voter files

We begin digging into the official voter registry to see what we can see. Join us!

We got around to obtaining the official voter registry for Minnesota from the Secretary of State’s office. I started with the file for the state’s Fifth Congressional District, just browsing through it, before beginning a more rigorous analysis.

The voter list is current as of January 11, 2024.

It turns out that Minnesota has some of the planet’s longest-lived humans. They tell me that the oldest person alive is aged a mere 116 years. But just in the Fifth Congressional District alone, I found 36 currently-registered voters born in the year 1900, which would put them at more than 123 years-old. Twenty-one of these thirty-six seasoned citizens reside in Minneapolis.

Another voter, from St. Louis Park, has a listed birth year of 1898.

We seem to have a big age gap in the voter roll, with the next oldest voters born in the years 1912 and 1914.

Unfortunately, one of Minneapolis’ oldest voters is no longer with us. I won’t mention her by name, but she was born in 1915 and passed away in May 2021, just six days before her 106th birthday. Luckily, her May 2021 passing didn’t prevent her from updating her voter registry in October 2022 from her final home in the 3rd Congressional District to her new Minneapolis address.

She managed to vote in the last election before her passing at age 105, but has not voted since. She is currently eligible to vote, according to the Secretary of State, in 2024. Here’s to a speedy recovery!

Readers will recall my fascination with the unusual voting habits of citizens residing in Minneapolis Ward 6’s Precinct 3, located in the city’s diverse Cedar-Riverside neighborhood.

A heart-warming story emerges from one of those famous, yet anonymous, apartment blocks in the heart of the neighborhood. Two centenarians, both born in 1919, live in separate units on the same floor. They’ve managed to avoid the rest home so far, and I’m hoping they can get together often to swap stories from the old country.

In the building next door, one can find an apartment with six registered voters. Three of the six (different ages) have near-identical names, differing from each other by just a single letter. Lower in the same building, we find two registered voters with the same name, differing only by a single letter in the last name, living in adjacent apartments. Although the two were born seven years apart, I’m still guessing that they have more in common than just the same street address and sound-alike names.

Coincidences about when working with a list some 400,000 names long.

We’ll keep digging!