They came, they votedTurn out was high around Carlton County and the state of Minnesota (and at Washington Elementary School's Kids Vote event Tuesday).
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
At Cloquet’s Washington Elementary School, Democrat Barack Obama ran away with the race, beating Republican challenger Mitt Romney 402 votes to 171. The ballots at Washington featured only the presidential candidates, with their names and a drawing of each man pictured (for those who aren’t old enough to read yet).
As Mrs. Theresa Parenteau’s kindergartners filed out after voting, two exit pollers asked them how they voted in what must have been scientifically calculated language: “Did you vote for the person on top or the one on the bottom?” they asked.
Although the margin wasn’t quite as large as Washington Elementary’s, Carlton County voters as a whole favored Obama, with 11,389 (62 percent) voting for the Obama/Biden ticket, while 6,586 (36 percent) filled in the Romney/Ryan oval for president. Libertarian Party candidates Gary Johnson and Jim Gray got the most votes (178) of the eight third party candidates on the ballot in
Minnesota went for President Barack Obama for the second time, with about the same percentage he gained nationwide. While pre-election polls offered conflicting views about whether Minnesota was in play in the presidential election, the president did well in Minnesota, collecting over 52 percent of the vote with 99 percent of the precincts reporting.
Voting in Carlton County started quickly Tuesday.
At 6:40 a.m. – 20 minutes before the polls opened at Cloquet’s City Hall – election judge Jan Puline said there were close to 10 people waiting in line to vote.
“We’ve had more than 200 people vote in the first two hours, plus lots of new registrations,” Puline said, noting that there are 1,314 preregistered voters in Cloquet’s Ward 3. “That’s
To keep the lines moving, the election judges had added six temporary voting booths to the mix. The remains of large cardboard boxes made up frames for the six impromptu booths, which were duct-taped to different Cloquet City Council desks in the Council Chambers.
Carlton County Auditor Paul Gassert’s office estimated voter turnout in Carlton County at 93.5 percent, although that number will certainly be lower after same-day voter registrations are taken into account by the Secretary of State office. A total of 2,889 voters registered at the polls Tuesday, Gassert said, with a total of 18,545 people voting in the county.
Big voter turnout was reported in much of the state, despite cloudy, damp, chilly weather.
Secretary of State Mark Ritchie had predicted 3 million Minnesotans, 78 percent of eligible voters, would go to the polls Tuesday. As of noon Wednesday, the state’s website estimated turnout at 2,939,037 with 86 of 87 counties reporting.