According to the Secretary of State’s website, 94.25% of registered voters voted in the presidential race. Actually, that isn’t right. With 4046 of 4102 precincts reporting, 94.25% of Minnesota’s registered voters had voted in the presidential election.

That means a voter participation rate of over 96%.

If that seems steep, that’s pathetic compared with the voter participation rate in Hennepin County, where 674,159 of the county’s 678,074 voters voted. That’s a VPR of 99.4%.

Still, that’s nothing compared with the most ‘civic-minded’ county in Minnesota. In Ramsey County, 278,821 of the county’s 279,513 registered voters voted. That’s a VPR of 99.75%.

St. Louis County is relatively apathetic, with ‘only’ 115,620 of their 122,755 voters voting this year. That’s a VPR of 94.19%. Dakota County had a VPR of 96.1%.

Does anyone seriously think that 4 major metro counties had voter participation rates over 94%? Does anyone seriously think that a statewide presidential race would trigger a voter partipation rate of more than 96%?

I’m betting against it.

19 Responses to “Historic voter participation rates?”

  • This happens every year, Gary. Hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans register to vote on election day. We won’t know the true participation rates until all of the new registrations are factored in.

    Same-day registration is one of the greatest features of Minnesota’s election system. We go to great lengths to help Minnesotans to vote, and we’re always rewarded with nation-leading turnout.

  • #6 says:

    Now, the true question is; how many those same day registrations are legit voters? How many of those voted twice? 10 times? Yeah some are legit (I know one who moved late last year), but without voter ID, we’ll never know. Without a legit SOS, we’ll never know.

  • Patrick says:

    wow that is something to think about. In Wisconsin, Milwaukee County 84.2% and Dane County 87.9%

  • eric z says:

    This election grew stale about two weeks ago. It is over. Each side has won something, lost something, and now we should all hope that those in power in January govern wisely and that partisan impediments dissolve so that good things can be accomplished. The nation is still on the ropes, Europe is in flux, a war needs ending. We live in interesting times.

    I see it as good that the bigotry and disenfranchisement amendments failed; you guys don’t. From the outset the Minnesota Constitution deserved more respect than to have political opportunists wanting to bastardize it because the governor can veto legislation. It was ill-advised, and Kiffmeyer and ALEC should go away.

  • Gary Gross says:

    Jeff, I just noticed that they’ve been adding to the registered voters total. That said, we know from the SecState’s website that an average of 500,000 people use EDR during Minnesota’s presidential elections, with the high being 582,000 in 2004.

    Furthermore, there were 278,000 registerred voters in Ramsey County in 2010. This year, that number rose to 279,000 voters.

    Isn’t it interesting that EDR voters seemingly vanish after Election Day. It’s inexplicable to say 500,000 voters use EDR but but the voter registration number only marginally increase.

    Finally, it’s interesting that there were 10,000,000 fewer votes cast nationwide in this election than there were in 2004. In that context, it’s impossible to explain how Minnesota’s VPR jumped from the los 80% range in 2004 to being over 90% this year.

    Jeff, please explain that to me.

  • eric z says:

    Gary – perhaps it was that people were energized because they feared Romney, and Ryan more so.

    Months ago you might have been right. Your party may have done better with Newt. Likely, he would have gone non-controversial on Veep, probably Pawlenty.

    In any event, Ryan was/is one to generate, in Hunter Thompson’s famous words, fear and loathing.

    If you guys run Ryan in 2016, expect more of the same, though not Obama.

    Take off the partisan glasses. Then, just look at the guy. Everything about his unmerited arrogance offends.

  • Gary Gross says:

    ERic, More votes were cast in this election than in 2008. With all due respect, your theory is bullshit. Not everyone hates successful people like you hate them.

    I’d just tell you that it’s stupid to think that the idiot in the White House who failed in reviving the economy will prevent us from going over the financial cliff & driving the economy into another recession.

  • Doug Wilken says:

    Hi Gary.

    Long time no see.

    Here are the numbers from the SOS website on voter participation.

    Eligible voter population: 3876752
    Voters registered at 7:00 AM: 3084005
    Estimated voters: 2939293

    Thus estimated voter turnout: 75.82%

    I saw lots and lots of people doing same day registration in Foley during my 20 minutes at city hall. It happens. Have a good one.


  • Gary Gross says:

    Voter participation rates are based on registered voters, not eligible voters.

  • Phil says:

    Seem we need a new Secretary of State to me. Mary Kiffmeyer was wonderful, fair and presice. Then we get the ACORN community organizer Mark Richie. Republicans need to make it a priority to dig deep into this and run a good candidate to get him out of there. This also explains a lot about Al Franken’s election to!

  • walter hanson says:


    They got the governor, the secretary of state, the attorney general, the state legislature, and as both 2008 and 2010 recounts prove the courts don’t care.

    Without voter ID they probably dragged in enough votes to win the election.

    Walter Hanson
    Minneapolis, MN

  • Leo Pusateri says:

    Until Mark Ritchie is relieved of his ‘duties,’ I will never have any confidence in a Minnesota election.

  • Rick says:

    I find it hard to believe the ID amendment failed. I have to present an ID every where I go. I had a medical procedure done last week and I forgot my ID and my wife had to go home and get it. What the people who voted it down don’t realize is that with out the photo ID both sides or any un scrupulous group can now cheat. I think as Minnesota continues down this road people of means will start voting with their FEET. I hear South Dakota has no personal income tax.

  • Jeff Baumann says:

    We need to request the names/address/etc of all EDRs by precinct (I believe that is public info) AND whether the voter was later confirmed. I am seeing voter participation rates of over 100% in several of my precincts, which are very demographically stable and should not be seeing numerous registrations.

  • Flo says:

    Mark Ritchie was reelected to his second four-year term in 2010. There is no limit to the number of terms he can serve.

    I worked at our little township election. I don’t have exact numbers but we had 145 voters out of about 200 (just over 70%) PLUS several absentee voters. Several of the voters were new — kids finally old enough to vote and people who hadn’t bothered for a while and had to reregister as well as some new ones. I’m guessing we were 75-80%. In 2008 we were at about 75%. I’d LOVE to dig into those numbers and see where all those people come from. For the record, with our little corner of the world, we would’ve had Romney/Ryan as well as both amendments.

  • Vince Fostersghost says:

    My daughter had to “same day” register because the regular registration system sucks. She registered last year, but she was not on the rolls.

    So, Jeff “rah rah rah we lead the nation in turn out” Rosenberg, you can take you B.S. and shove it.

    This election stinks to high heaven. No way does Obama get 10 million fewer votes than last time and still win, in the midst of the worst economy since Carter.

    Either this was rigged from the start, or the anti-Mormon no-shows made the difference. I’m guessing rigged, since it’s a proven fact that Democrats cheat. They have made an art out of it.

    Mark Ritchie is a crook who probably had the fix in place 6 months ago.

    Our republic is dead. Zeig Heil to the Demonrats!

  • Nick says:

    Was Kiffmeyer SOS when Jesse Ventura was Governor?

  • Gary Gross says:

    Nick, Joan Growe was Minnesota’s SecState in 1998. In fact, that’s the election when Sen.-Elect Kiffmeyer defeated Growe.

  • Gene Christensen says:

    It’s amazing that people want to change something they know so little about. In MN, if you haven’t voted for over 4 consecutive years, you cease to be a registered voter. So, registered voters in MN are only the people who frequently vote, that’s why our %’s are so high. So, because we’re strict on who’s registered, we make it easy to register – same day registration. In my precinct we began the day with 1828 registered voters. We had 1795 people vote (98.2%) if you look at it that way. But, we also had 487 new registrants, so my real number is 1828 plus 487 = 2315 (77.5%). Of those 487 new registrants, I’d say about 20 were vouched for. The most common reason for vouching: husband and wife, all the utility bills come in the husband’s name, so he registers and then vouches for his wife – terrible fraud going on there. Also, a person who is vouched for cannot in turn vouch for somebody else. Here are the biggest election problems we have in MN 1) poorly trained election judges – most do this one time every two years, if that much. 2) felons voting before their sentence has been completed. 3) people voting in the wrong place – another poorly trained election judge issue. The only problem a photo ID would prevent is somebody pretending to be you and that just doesn’t happen, especially when you’re likely to show up because you’re not on the rolls if you don’t. And if you’re not on the roster, then you already have to show a photo ID, and proof of residence. The whole thing was a smoke screen. They didn’t care about making the election process better, they merely wanted to keep certain demographics of people away from voting who tend not to vote their way and the photo ID was the perfect fit – covered the right groups and they had a convenient sales pitch. But sorry, I don’t use a photo at the ATM, or on the net, or on the phone. Security yes, photo, no. And what happens if next year we get some great fingerprint technology to ID everyone. MN could not use it because these people would have it in the constitution that we must use a photo. This busines is where it belongs – in the legislature, not the constition. Thank you MN for wising up to these guys.

Leave a Reply