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Minnesota boasts highest voter turnout in country as state certifies election results

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a record percentage of voters also sent in absentee ballots.
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Minnesota was once again the state with the highest voter turnout in the country, as state officials certified the results of the 2020 general election Tuesday.

Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon announced Tuesday that 79.96% of eligible voters had cast a ballot in the November election, the highest percentage turnout since 1956. Total voters came out to 3,292,997, the highest number ever.

The results gave Minnesota the highest turnout for the third time in a row, following nationwide bests in 2016 and 2018. Minnesota’s 2020 voter turnout also beat 2016 state turnout, which was almost 75%.

Absentee ballots also accounted for 1,906,383 votes, or a record 58% of total votes, according to Simon. The previous high was 24% in 2018.

“This election was like no other in Minnesota history. The pandemic meant administering the 2020 election using a public health and safety lens,” Simon said in a statement. “I made an unprecedented request of Minnesota voters: to consider voting from home with an absentee ballot. Those voters responded in truly remarkable fashion.”

Simon also said the state did not face a shortage of election judges despite worries the pandemic could affect staffing. There were no credible allegations of voter fraud, Simon said.

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“Even as we celebrate a third consecutive election leading the nation in turnout, I know that Minnesota can do more to make every voice heard,” Simon said in a statement.

“No matter where they live in Minnesota, or what language they speak, or what accommodations they need to cast their ballot, I look forward to continuing my mission to make it as easy as possible for every eligible Minnesotan to vote.”

Minnesota certified its results on Tuesday, with Joe Biden winning the state's 10 electoral votes for president.

Democrat Tina Smith won the race for the U.S. Senate, while the state's congressional delegation was split between the GOP and Democratic Party, with the Republicans picking up one seat.

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