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November 03, 2010 06:02 PM

Voter Turnout Meets Low Expectations


Across South Dakota, 62 percent of registered voters made it to the polls in the mid-term election. But there are drastic differences in voter turnout depending on the county.

In Minnehaha County, just more than 62 percent of registered voters cast a ballot on Election Day. That was expected, but is still lower than similar election years.

"Our last midterm was 70 percent and the one before that was 75 percent, so 62 percent is a pretty good drop. The races were just quieter this year," Minnehaha County Auditor Sue Roust said.

Brown County reports 63.5 percent voter turnout. Pennington County saw 59.3 percent, also meeting low expectations.

The county with the biggest percentage of voters casting ballots is Jerauld County with nearly 84 percent, while only about 35 percent made it to the polls in Shannon County.

In Minnehaha County, Roust expected a low voter turnout but what she didn't expect was to see a surge of voters at the polls.

"What did surprise us was, we had strong turnout at precincts. We were way low into absentee votes, we ended up having to take extra ballots to one-third of our precincts because they had such rushes during the day," Roust said.

Roust expects two recounts after Tuesday’s results. In House District 9, Trudy Hatch lost by 39 votes and in District 14, David Rose lost by 53.

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