Which precincts had best turnout for primary in Douglas County?
Absentee ballots were popular, accounting for nearly 18% of the total votes
ALEXANDRIA — And the prize for the highest voter turnout of all 35 precincts in Douglas County for the Aug. 9 primary is...
Out of its 718 registered voters, 237 people voted — a turnout of 33%.
Coming in second was Moe Township with 199 votes out of 643 registered voters for a turnout of 30.95%.
It just so happens that both Hudson and Moe Townships were two of three precincts that only accepted mailed absentee or early ballots for the election. The other precinct was the city of Millerville, which also had a strong voter turnout. Of its 57 registered voters, 15 people mailed in their ballots, a turnout of 26.32%, which was the sixth best turnout.
Here's how the mail-ballot-only process worked, according to Vicki Doehling, elections administrator for Douglas County: Residents of mail ballot precincts who are pre-registered to vote are sent a ballot in the mail to their residence address prior to the election.
"Therefore, the turnout in mail ballot precincts is often higher since no action is required of the voter other than to be registered to vote before the ballot was mailed to them, have their signature witnessed on the return envelope, vote the ballot, and return it to the county auditor," Doehling said.
A total of 5,809 residents voted in Douglas County — 1,026 by absentee or early ballots, which accounted for 17.66% of the total.
The countywide voter turnout was 21.55%, which is "very comparable" to previous mid-term primaries, Doehling said.
The election process went smoothly, according to Doehling.
"This certainly was one of the quietest primaries we’ve experienced in recent years as far as our office support to area polling places," she said. "Local election officials did a fantastic job of preparing themselves for administering the election."
Of the precincts that allowed in-person voting, Lund Township led the way with a turnout of 30.58%, followed by Evansville Township with 28.65%, Ida Township with 28.35%, city of Brandon with 25.71%, city of Garfield with 25.63%, Alexandria Ward 1 with 24.64%, city of Evansville with 24.54%, Solem Township with 24.28%, LaGrand Township with 24.09% and rounding out the top 10, Leaf Valley Township with 23.66%.
And in the lets-do-better-next-time category, Orange Township had the lowest turnout, 10.33%, followed by the city of Nelson with 12.50%, Osakis Township with 12.73%, Spruce Hill Township with 13.27% and rounding the bottom 5, city of Osakis with 14.42%.