The Beast used the following criteria:
To find out, The Daily Beast combed the U.S. Census Bureau statistics on last year’s elections. We then ranked states based on the percentage of citizens who were registered to vote, and the percentage who actually voted. We also considered the average amount of individual donation ($200+) per citizen for the 2010 election cycle, according to the contribution tally maintained by OpenSecrets.org, and each state’s citizen population.
North Dakota ranked 3rd; Minnesota came in 6; Montana was ranked 15, and Iowa came in at 11.
For this list, exercising the right to vote was deemed the most potent form of engagement. Thus, the average percentage of voter turnout was weighted twice as much as the average percentage of voter registration, and four times as much as individual donations.