Profile America — Friday, March 7th. As if to prove there is nothing new under the sun, Massachusetts acted on this date in far-off 1801 to register voters. At that time, the franchise was limited to men — usually those of local repute and owning property. Town assessors drew up publicly posted lists of voters. If any voter was omitted, documents proving eligibility were accepted. The practice caught on very slowly. Only after the Civil War did voter registration become widespread. Today, North Dakota is the only state without a registration requirement. In 2012, out of a voting age population of over 215 million citizens, just over 71 percent were registered to vote. In Massachusetts, registration was nearly 79 percent. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau, online at <www.census.gov>.
http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/socdemo/voting/publications/p20/2012/tables.html Table 2 All Races & Table 4a