ST. PAUL, Minn. - There were long stretches of empty voting stations at most Minnesota polling places on primary day. One of the nation's top turnout sites, St. Paul's Summit Neighborhood, was hoping to grab a 10 or 12 percent turnout.
"Today we're hoping as far as to get a couple hundred people out," Election Judge Hugh Maetzold said. "There's just 5 of us here today and we're getting to know each other well," he said when asked if he was bored.
We did catch Jean King and Stuart Appelbaum voting. The pair had walked six additional blocks after learning their old spot was no longer their polling place. "It's really important to vote in the primary election because not a lot of people do," King said before Appelbaum added "It is part of the process, it's important to exercise your right, it's a duty."
Ramsey Elections Manager Joe Mansky says fewer people are exercising that right. "We periodically would get above 30 percent turnout in a state primary; we haven't come anywhere near that in recent years. It just appears that many of the voters have just opted out of the whole endorsement and nomination process," he explained.
Mansky thought 10 percent turnout might be a little ambitious on this primary, one without a hotly contested position. He also says an August versus September primary doesn't help turnout. He welcomed the quiet day as a way to test run his system following political redistricting.
Washington County's Election Manager reported average primary numbers, somewhere between 10 and 20 percent turnout. Most election managers are expected high 60s this November when the oval office as well as 2 controversial amendments can be found on the ballot.
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