Voter turnout for Crow Wing County reached 68 percent in Tuesday's general election.
Voter turnout in the county for a gubernatorial election year is typically about 70 percent.
What was remarkable this election was the speed in which results were tabulated. Ballots began arriving at the historic courthouse in Brainerd from polling places around the county about 9:12 p.m. with the last ballots arriving a few minutes after 11 p.m.
Auditor Deborah Erickson said it was the fastest turnaround for results in memory. The big difference appeared to be the legislative decision in effect this year to set up an absentee ballot board made of election judges, meaning the absentee ballots did not have to be handled at individual polling stations. The board of election judges met to accept or reject ballots and the ballots were scanned into the system with the results tabulated at 8 p.m. Election Day.
"That's what makes such a huge difference," Erickson said, noting election results were in and done by about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday.
More than 2,000 absentee ballots were cast in the county.
In addition, this year the county had new software in place for election results. There was a glitch in the system affecting the speed of uploading results. Erickson said it was a technical issue that was fixed by the vendor that night.
RENEE RICHARDSON may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5852.
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