Hennepin County Voter Turnout Drops Sharply From 2008 Primary
The number of ballots fell by more than quarter.
Update 7:56 a.m. Aug. 15: Statewide, turnout is down about 44 percent, although 1 percent of the state’s 4,102 precincts still had results outstanding as of this update.
With incumbent congressmen and a sitting senator on the ballot, Hennepin County saw a steep drop-off in voter turnout from the 2008 primary.
Polling places tallied nearly 25,000 fewer people at the polls this year, a decrease of about 27 percent.
Several Patch cities exceeded that drop, notably:
- Minnetonka (42 percent)
- Edina (39 percent)
- Maple Grove (37 percent)
- Plymouth (36 percent)
- Richfield (35 percent)
(See the chart below for totals for Hennepin County Patch communities.)
Still, some communities with heavily contested races bucked the trend. Golden Valley’s 2 percent gain was likely helped by a nine-person special election to represent Hennepin County’s 2nd District on the County Board—a race that included Golden Valley City Councilwoman Paula Pentel.
Similarly, several Lake Minnetonka communities saw turnout increase for precincts that helped Cindy Pugh, a self-described Tea Party leader and a first-time political candidate, easily defeat 11-term incumbent State Rep. Steve Smith in the House District 33B primary. The same area also had a tight race between Connie Doepke and David Osmek for the Senate District 33 seat.
The results could also skew by party. The decrease for Edina Republicans was 9 percentage points better than the city’s average. The gap was even wider countywide, where DFLers had a 32 percent drop and Republicans had a 9 percent decrease.
While all Hennepin County precincts have reported results, more than 10 percent of precincts statewide had not yet reported in at press time. Patch will update this story with statewide totals once more complete information is available.
Vote Totals for Select Patch Communities
|St. Louis Park||3,761||2,614|