Lyon Co. primary turnout at 30-year high
MARSHALL — Tuesday’s primary was marked by record voter turnouts in Lyon County.
Participation in the primary was the highest it’s been in the past 30 years, according to data from County Auditor/Treasurer E.J. Moberg. Unofficial data from Tuesday’s election showed 4,131 total votes cast — a turnout rate of just over 30 percent. The next highest primary turnout over the past two decades was in 1990, when 3,711 votes were cast.
The number of absentee and mail-in ballots cast in Tuesday’s primary was also at a 20-year high. Unofficial totals said 1,266 mail-in ballots were accepted. Part of that jump likely came from an increased number of precincts switching to mail ballots. A dozen Lyon County townships and four cities now use mail-in ballots.
The Lyon County canvassing board will meet on Friday to review the vote totals and certify election results, Moberg said. Links to unofficial primary data can be found at the Lyon County website, lyonco.org.
While Lyon County’s vote totals did fit in with statewide primary results for the most part, there were some differences.
In the Republican primary for Minnesota governor, Lyon County voters supported Tim Pawlenty instead of Jeff Johnson. Lyon County was one of a cluster of southwest Minnesota counties that supported Pawlenty.
Statewide, Johnson won the Republican primary with 52.6 percent of the vote.
Within Lyon County, Pawlenty received 53 percent of the vote, with 1,121 votes cast. Johnson received 850 votes, and Matt Kruse received 131 votes.
In the DFL primary, gubernatorial candidate Tim Walz had a strong lead among Lyon County voters. Walz carried 52 percent of the Lyon County vote, with 935 votes cast. Lori Swanson received 512 votes, and Erin Murphy received 302 votes.
In the U.S. Senate primary, both Democrat and Republican voters in Lyon County showed a solid preference among candidates. Sen. Amy Klobuchar had 93 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary, with 1,682 votes cast. In the Republican primary, Jim Newberger had the lead with 1,108 votes. The next highest-ranking Republican candidates were Merrill Anderson with 428 votes, and Rae Hart Anderson with 234 votes.
In the primary for a special Senate election, Lyon County voters mainly supported Sen. Tina Smith among DFL candidates. Smith received 74 percent of the vote, with 1,293 votes cast. However, Lyon County voters were much more closely divided between Republican candidates Bob Anderson and Karin Housley. Housley received a total of 958 votes, compared to Anderson’s 920.
Statewide, Housley led the Republican candidates with 62 percent of the vote.
In the Republican primary for Congressional District 7, Lyon County voters cast 1,093 votes for Dave Hughes, and 788 votes for Matt Prosch.
In the Minnesota Attorney General primary, Lyon County voters were closely divided between Republican candidates Sharon Anderson and Doug Wardlow. Anderson received 763 votes, compared to Wardlow’s 744 votes. Robert Lessard received 375 votes.
Statewide, Wardlow won the Republican primary with 46.3 percent of the vote.
Keith Ellison had a stronger lead in the Democratic primary for attorney general. In Lyon County, Ellison received 42 percent of the vote, with 728 ballots cast. The next highest-ranking DFL candidates in Lyon County were Debra Hilstrom with 427 votes and Tom Foley with 316 votes.
Some Minnesota legislative races also held primaries Tuesday. In District 22A, Lyon County voters were pretty closely divided on DFL candidates Brian Abrahamson and Maxwell Kaufman. Abrahamson received 160 votes, compared to Kaufman’s 151 votes.
Statewide, Kaufman won the primary with 53.8 percent of the vote.