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Voter Turnout
2003 Primary Note: Calculation of voter turnout is not available until county administrators complete data entry of election-d

2003 Primary Note: Calculation of voter turnout is not available until county administrators complete data entry of election-day statistics, including the number of voters casting ballots in each precinct.

 

 

Voter Turnout

Voter turnout is calculated by dividing the number of people voting by the size of potential voting population.

The size of the potential voting is the number of people who are eligible to vote in an election. In Minnesota, there are three ways of determining the size of the voting population.  Each has advantages and disadvantages.

  1. Number of Voters Who Were Registered as of 7 A.M. on Election Day.
    • This is the formula used on this website, and reflects the number of voters who "pre-registered" in time to have their names printed on the "rosters," the list of voters available in each polling place.
    • The advantage to this formula is that it uses precise numbers of registered voters (not an estimate), which can be determined and entered into the system before voting begins.
    • The disadvantage of this formula is that it does not reflect the number of voters who registered and voted on Election Day itself.
  2. Number of Voters Who Were Registered on Election Day
    • This is a formula that can be used after Election Night when Election Day registration information is available.
    • An advantage to this formula is that it also uses precise numbers of registered voters (not an estimate).
    • A disadvantage to this formula is that the precise number cannot be determined until after Election Night reporting has been completed, and the number of election-day registrations can be entered into the reporting system.
    • Another disadvantage to this formula is that the size of the potential voting population may be artificially inflated because some voters who were counted as registered at 7:00 a.m. may have also needed to register on election day to update their registration information.
  3. Percentage of Voting Age Population
    • This formula is used to determine what percentage of voters cast ballots from the entire larger population group that could have registered and cast ballots.
    • The advantage to this formula is that it can measure overall participation in the election process. It includes the number of individuals 18 years of age or older who could have registered to vote, but did not. The disadvantage to this formula is that the measure of potential voting population cannot be as precise as the measure of registered voters. For example, felons and individuals under "guardianship of the person" are included in this number, even though they cannot in fact register or vote.
    • Traditionally, the U.S. Census Bureau provides a voting age population estimate at the beginning of each election year.

For more information about Voter Turnout and Voting Age Population:

Historic turnout in Minnesota: http://www.sos.state.mn.us/election/elstat94.pdf
U.S. Census Bureau: http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/voting.html
Federal Elections Commission: http://www.fec.gov/elections.html