St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - The 2016 election was one for the history books in Minnesota.

The total number of Minnesotans who cast ballots set a new record for a general election, and new records were set for early voting and the number of voters who registered before Election Day. The State Canvassing Board met Tuesday and officially certified the election results. 2,968,281 votes were cast for a turnout rate of 74.72 percent. The Minnesota Secretary of State Office says that will likely be the highest turnout rate in the nation.

“I challenged the people of Minnesota to return our state back to number one in voter turnout and it looks like Minnesotans stepped up to that challenge,” said Secretary of State Steve Simon. “Minnesota’s historic early voting and online voter registration numbers show that Minnesotans want the increased convenience and accessibility when it comes to elections, and I look forward to continue working to make it as easy as possible for eligible voters to make their voices heard.”

Election officials say 678,336 voters took advantage of the state’s relaxed early voting rules. That vote total represents nearly 23-percent of all voters and was more than double the number of early votes cast in any previous election. Over 350,000 Minnesotans also took advantage of online voter registration and a single day registration record was set on October 17th when 67,235 state residents registered online. The total number of voters registered before Election Day also set a record at 3,270,734.
Even though the vote count has been certified by the canvassing board, the results of two races are pending because of recounts. Officials say a state-funded recount will be conducted in Senate District 14, where the vote difference between the two candidates is less than a half a percent. Republican Stewart Mills has also announced he will request and pay for a recount of the nearly 357,000 votes cast in the 8th Congressional District, where he lost to incumbent Democrat Rick Nolan by about 2000 votes.

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