(The Center Square) – Less than four weeks from Election Day midterms, Maryland is the most politically engaged state in the country.

That’s the finding of a study by a personal finance company that ranked New Jersey, Virginia, Washington, and Oregon in the top five, respectively.

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WalletHub says it compared all 50 states with ten key indicators of political engagement release says. This included weighted scores analyzing voters in the presidential and midterm elections of 2016, 2018, and 2020; education; accessibility; policies for preregistration of young voters; volunteer political campaign opportunities per capita; and residents participating in civic groups or organizations.

“People register and vote most often when a real person asks them,” Dr. Dick Simpson said. He’s a professor of political science at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “Thus, door-to-door canvassing is the most effective way to increase turnout and votes for a particular candidate. Now with the COVID pandemic declining, door-to-door electioneering is possible again. Highly negative TV ads tend to turn many people off and decrease voting, although a particular candidate may win with such ads.”

Least-engaged state, according to the report, is Arkansas. Also at the bottom were West Virginia (No. 49), Alabama (No. 48), South Dakota (No. 47), and Nebraska (No. 46).

WalletHub’s report says 155 million Americans voted in the 2020 presidential election, representing 66.8% of the voting population. In the midterms for 2018, the eligible voters heading to the polls was 53.4%.

WalletHub, the release said, used data from “the U.S. Census Bureau, Center for Responsive Politics; OpenSecrets, Ballotpedia, AmeriCorps, National Conference of State Legislatures, The Thomas B. Fordham Institute, and Indeed.”

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