LUVERNE, MN -
Minnesota voting numbers are expected to be among the highest in the nation. The state traditionally has the most voter turnout and the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office expects this year’s number to stay at 78 percent.
Early numbers in Southwest Minnesota point to increases, according to precinct workers in Luverne.
Voters say there are a variety of issues to decide on this year. Though for some, it boils down to one single issue.
“We need to get a Republican President in office. And we need to vote,” Mary Hawes said, who voted in Beaver Creek, but was in Luverne taking a friend to the polls.
“I don't want the one guy to get in so I'm voting for the other guy,” first-time voter Jake Davis said.
Regardless of which candidate they’ve chosen, the one thing almost everyone can agree on is that they had to cast a ballot.
“It's something you should do,” Bob Bailey said.
In 2012, the Minnesota Secretary of State says more than 3 million Minnesotans will exercise that right, putting the state on track to stay at a 78 percent voter turn out level.
Luverne precinct workers say the numbers this year are coming in higher than 2008. By early afternoon, more than 1,200 people had filled in ballots, putting unofficial voting rates in the southwest Minnesota city at 47 percent.
“Yeah, there's quite a few in there voting,” Audrey Opitz said, as she walked out of Luverne High School where all four of the city’s precincts gathered to vote.
Proposed statewide constitutional changes like the Marriage and Voter ID amendments are drawing crowds, along with local issues.
But nationally, on Election Night all eyes may be on the state's presidential tally which pollsters have predicted to be among the closest in decades.
“I think Minnesota is neck and neck,” Bailey said.
“People are just tired of the way things are they want a change,” said Hawes.
Minnesota has ten electoral votes. The Secretary of State's office says both Northern and Southern Minnesota have the highest voting rates, which often top 90 percent.
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