One of the talking points of the 2020 election as it pertains to Wright County is that, once again, county residents took the privilege of casting their vote extremely seriously and came out in record-setting numbers to let their voices be heard and their votes be counted.
Of the votes received to date (while votes for the presidential election needed to be received by 3 p.m., absentee votes postmarked on or before Nov. 3 are still counted in other elections through Tuesday, Nov. 10), the best way to get an early handle on voter turnout is to look at the number of votes that were cast for president, since it is the highest-profile election on the ballot and shows up first.
Before the polls open each Election Day, every county lists the number of its registered voters. Minnesota is a state that allows voter registration on site at polling places, but, given the number of people who opted to vote absentee, the numbers would appear to be a solid barometer to determine voter turnout – even if an unscientific exercise.
At 7 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016 when polls opened, there were 75,968 registered voters in Wright County. As of 7 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, there were 87,361 registered voters in the county – and increase of 15 percent over the previous presidential election cycle.
When trying to figure out voter turnout percentages, the presumption can made that those who took the time to vote likely took the time to vote for president, whether it was for President Donald Trump, former Vice President Joe Biden, any of seven third-party candidates on the ballot or the write-in option.
In the 2016, in the election pitting President Trump and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, 69,618 total votes were cast for president, representing 91.6 percent of registered voters when the polls opened. In Tuesday’s election, 80,774 votes were cast by Wright County residents, representing 92.5 percent of the registered voters at the start of the day.
Wright County has always prided itself for its high percentage of taking part in the election process and exercising its right to vote. The turnout percentage in 2016 was thought to be a number that would difficult to surpass simply because it was so high, but Wright County found a way to do it Tuesday.