Voter Turnout Surges in Hopkins
The community had nearly 300 more voters in 2012 than in 2008.
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly listed the number of the precinct that had the second-lowest increase in voter turnout. That error has since been fixed.
Minnesota still has several precincts uncounted, but Hopkins is on track to surpass the already substantial voter turnout seen across the state, according to results from the Secretary of State’s office.
Hopkins had 292 more people vote in the 2012 presidential election than in 2008—an increase of 3.38 percent. By contrast, Minnesota is currently showing a .71 percent increase with 99.05 percent of precincts reporting.
The biggest increases in Hopkins came in Precinct 2, which includes the Presidential neighborhood, Interlachen and the Blake Road Corridor. That precinct saw 128 more ballots than it did in 2008—a hearty 7.26 percent increase.
Turnout was lower in the southeastern part of the city. It actually dropped .72 percent in Precinct 3, which includes the sprawling Meadow Creek Condos complex, the Park Valley neighborhood and most of the Peaceful Valley neighborhood.
- Click the PDF above to see a map of precincts.
Meanwhile, there was a scant .52 percent growth in Precinct 6—which includes most of Avenues West, Westbrooke Patio Homes and the western side of the city.
The election was not without its challenges. Hopkins precincts were the last in the legislative district to have results posted. Rachel Smith, the Hennepin County elections manager, said that’s partly because of an absentee ballot law that changed in 2010.
That law prohibits counting absentee ballots until after the polls close. To add to the challenge, the county was receiving absentee ballots from couriers as late as 7 p.m. It had to send those ballots to the city, which had to count them and return the results to the county.
Hopkins also redid some of its counts to ensure the numbers added up correctly, Smith said.
But overall, the election appeared to have gone smoothly. Neighbors chatted at polling places while waiting to vote. At Alice Smith Elementary, volunteers took advantage of the rush to host their traditional Election Day bake sale—which raised money for a new marquee this year. Voters stopped by the tent to pick up election-themed baked goods on their way out of the voting booths.
“We like when it’s a big election,” laughed coordinator Beth Jones.
*At press time, Minnesota has 99.05 percent of precincts reporting.
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