Minnesota’s 9% primary turnout is second lowest in 60 years

Minnesota’s Tuesday primary — which featured two high- profile, contested congressional races but no statewide contests — drew only 9 percent of voters, the second lowest turnout since 1950, according to the Secretary of State’s Office.

The only lower primary turnout in the last 60 years was in 2004, when 7.73 percent of eligible voters made it to the polls.

In 2010 primaries, 15.96 percent of the eligible electorate voted.

This was the second Minnesota primary held in August, rather than September. It was moved up to allow military and overseas voters more time to cast ballots.

Primary fights in the 1st and 8th Congressional Districts didn’t spur the high turnout that the three-way DFL gubernatorial primary election had in 2010.

 “About 70,000 voters in the northern Eighth Congressional District showed up on Tuesday, most on the Democratic side of the ledger,” according to the Star Tribune. Former Congressman Rick Nolan won in the three-way race and will face Rep. Chip Cravaack.

 “Meanwhile, down in the southern First Congressional District, just under 40,000 voters cast ballots, about 23,000 of them voting in the GOP primary,” the paper said. “Republicans picked former state lawmaker Allen Quist to face U.S. Rep. Tim Walz Tuesday.”

 Secretary of State Mark Ritchie released a statement expressing his “gratitude and praise to the thousands of local election officials and poll workers for the smooth implementation of the first statewide election since redistricting.”

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