Election Day was an exciting day in Minnesota when thousands of residents turned out to cast a vote. Secretary of State, Mark Ritchie, expected that voter turnout will be slightly less than 80%. This number is consistent with the voter turnout in previous presidential elections. Additionally they are expecting about 300,000 absentee ballots. In this year’s election, Minnesota can be proud that it had the highest voter turnout of all 50 states. This has been the case in 12 of the past 16 elections.
The ballot in Minnesota included a variety of important issues, most notably the Presidential election. Both the country and Minnesota re-elected President Barack Obama, who won with a total of 303 electoral votes (270 needed to win), including the 10 allotted to Minnesota. Experts predicted the election would come down to a few battleground states including Ohio, Virginia, and Colorado, all of which were carried by President Obama and helped win him the requisite electoral votes.
In addition to the national election, the Minnesota ballot included some very important local issues. The ballot included an opportunity to vote on whether a constitutional amendment should be passed that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. This amendment was very controversial as it would deny the gay and lesbian community the right to be married within the State of Minnesota. This amendment was struck down, and Minnesota voted against this state constitutional amendment. Additionally, the ballot included an amendment that would drastically change the voter registration process in Minnesota. It would require that voters would have to go through a substantially more complex process to verify their identity and would put an end to the revered tradition of same day voter registration. Currently, Minnesota residents enjoy the unique privilege of being able to register to vote on the same day of an election. This constitutional amendment was also struck down by the voters. As Americans we often take the right to vote for granted, and we must remember that across the world people are losing their lives to win the right to cast a ballot. So, regardless of political affiliations or personal inclinations, Election Day was remarkable and reminds us all how lucky we are to be Americans.