2016 could be a record-breaking year for voter registration in Minnehaha County.
People wanting to vote in the general election have been showing up at the auditor’s office ten-months ahead of the general election balloting. Already, nearly 121,000 people are listed on the active and inactive registration rolls in Minnehaha County. That tops the 118,000 registered voters from the last election, two years ago. The so-called “Trump Effect” is part of the reason for the jump.
Many registered voters in Minnehaha County have been energized by the charged national political landscape where Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has dominated the public’s attention.
“He’s saying some things that have some sense to it, a little bit on the edgy side, I think some things he’s said need to be addressed,” Leslie Erikson of Brandon said.
That heightened interest in presidential politics is showing up every day at the Minnehaha County auditor’s office where people are registering to vote in big numbers.
“We’ve been getting anywhere from 25 to 100 of them a day. We’ve got ten months to go so I think those numbers are going to ramp-up substantially,” Minnehaha County Auditor Bob Litz said.
Auditor Bob Litz thinks 2016 could set a record for voter registration in the county.
“Now, if I knew those numbers for sure, I’d have won that lottery the other day. But this is one of those things where we can speculate. But I think this open presidential is going to be a big one,” Litz said.
With high voter registration, typically comes high voter turnout, especially during presidential election years.
“It just kind of goes to tell you what people are getting more concerned about what’s going on and want their voices heard,” Erikson said.
Republicans are registering the most. Followed by Independents. Litz thinks voters interest in the election will remain strong in the months ahead, even if Trump mania wavers down the stretch.
Litz says Minnehaha County’s population growth is also a factor in higher registration numbers. He says all those petitions that circulated last year in front of the County Administration Building also boosted voter interest.