Tuesday’s voter participation rate in Minnesota was a respectable 60.66 percent, according to Secretary of State Steve Simon. Despite falling short of the near-record 64.3% in 2018, this is still comfortably above the norm for midterm years since at least 1950.
Since the year 2000, Minnesota voters have been more likely to participate in midterm elections with a Republican presidential incumbent. In 2018, for example, many were ready to express their discontent with then-president Trump.
This year’s unusually high voter participation under a Democratic government is an oddity and helps explain why the DFL outperformed forecasts, switching the Senate and boosting its House lead.
In the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade reversed earlier this year, Democrats were particularly driven by the subject of abortion. An exit poll in the contested 2nd Congressional District, which was won by U.S. Rep. Angie Craig, revealed that abortion was the most important issue to her supporters. St. Olaf College political scientist Christopher Chapp conducted the survey.
Minnesota has always had one of the nation’s highest voter participation percentages, and 2022 seems to be no exception. Preliminary figures compiled by political scientist Michael McDonald indicate that the state will once again have the highest voter participation in 2018. Maine and Wisconsin are the two other states with rates above 60%. Several states, including Hawaii, West Virginia, Mississippi, and Tennessee, have voter participation percentages in the mid-30s, much below the national average of slightly under 50%. However, these figures may alter as states finish and certify their votes.
This high voter participation is evidence of the relative simplicity of voting in this country, but reformers have pointed out that there are several ways to make the process even more user-friendly.