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Minnesota voter turnout down to 50 percent, a drop from recent mid-terms

Turnout in 2010 was nearly 56 percent and in 2006 it was 60 percent.

Minnesota’s voter turnout for Tuesday’s election was just over 50 percent of eligible voters, a drop from past mid-term elections.

Secretary of State Mark Ritchie said preliminary results show that 1,985,747 residents cast votes, which is just about half of those eligible; the number will rise slightly when final tallies are made.

In the 2006 mid-term election, turnout was 60.47 percent, and in 2010 it was 55.81, he said.

Mid-terms always have much lower turnout than elections in presidential years; in 2012 Minnesota’s turnout was 76 percent.

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Absentee voting was up considerably this year from past mid-terms, with no excuses required for the first time.

Reports so far show that Minnesotans requested 236,089 absentee ballots prior to Tuesday’s election, and that 197,691 were returned and accepted. That’s about 10 percent of the votes cast in the election.

In the previous mid-term, 201o, 127,248 absentee ballots were accepted, about 6 percent of the total votes cast.

In the 2012 presidential election, 267,464 absentee ballots were counted, about 9 percent of the votes cast.