By all accounts, Tuesday’s voter turnout set records for numbers and enthusiasm, and as a result, democracy was served.
Voting turnout in the Mankato area counties ranged from 88 percent to 94 percent as measured by the number of votes cast versus the number of voters registered as of Tuesday morning. Some 3.2 million Minnesotans turned out for the election, making a preliminary turnout rate of about 78 percent, the highest since 2008.
But Secretary of State Steve Simon told the Star Tribune that after all the mail-in votes are counted, the turnout rate could be as high as 80 percent, which would beat a record set in the 1950s.
More than half of all ballots were mail-in ballots in various counties and statewide.
With fewer people showing up at the poll due to mail-in ballots, the voting process was orderly and safe, despite worries that the election could draw protests around the state.
Voting of course should be easy and verifiable and protected from fraud.
By all accounts Minnesota has a failsafe system that is not connected to the internet, uses paper backups and machine-read tabulations. The mail-in ballot procedure was equally sound, as voters had clear instructions and county officials could check their work, and, in fact, notify voters if something was filled out incorrectly or they forgot to sign their ballot.
Of course, all of these checks and balances take time and the vote counting has been delayed a few days. We’re willing to sacrifice some speed for accuracy.
But in the end voters in record numbers took their duty seriously and while the election was contentious and many were ready for it to be over, the silver lining of record voter turnout shows democracy is alive and well in America.