This Presidential Elections Sees Increased Voter Turnout
Some precincts in the City of Duluth had 90% or higher voter turnout.
DULUTH, Minn. – This year’s presidential election broke barriers as many more people voted than usual.
About 80% of registered voters in the City of Duluth cast ballots in this year’s election.
That is a significantly larger turnout compared to the 2016 presidential race.
Another big takeaway from this year’s election is some precincts in the City of Duluth had 90% or higher voter turnout.
“People definitely found ways to cast their ballot and luckily Minnesota is a front runner as far as options for early voting,” said Chelsea Helmer, the director of administrative services for Duluth.
Voters in Minnesota had about a 45-day head start to vote.
The state legislature also amended the law to allow election workers to start counting ballots 14 days before the election
City officials say this helped get results back within two hours of closing the polls.
“Different states are in different situations and are still processing those mail-in votes. Some could not start counting until on election night,” said Helmer.
St. Louis County election officials also saw significant differences compared to other presidential elections.
This year, more than 50,000 people within the county voted absentee.
That’s a big change from 2016 when only 16,000 people chose to vote by mail.
“That’s quite a bit of more volume than we are used to countywide. We worked a lot of extra hours and staff coming in on the weekend, morning, and evenings to make sure we process in a timely manner,” said Phil Chapman, the election supervisor for St. Louis County.
county election leaders say one of the biggest challenges they can face with the absentee ballot processing stage is verifying if people who voted by mail chose to instead visit a polling location on election day.
although a lot of area polling places had a higher turnout than most elections,
some like the one at UMD only reached just over 50% turnout due mainly to fewer students being on campus.