After the vote, here's how it all adds up
Elections are all about the numbers -- how many individual voters, how many electoral votes, which party has enough members elected to the House and Senate to have a majority. Everything is counted. Here is just a sample of some of the numbers from the most recent election.
Minnesota was ranked No. 1 in the nation for voter turnout. According to the George Mason University Election Project, this is not unusual. Minnesota has ranked first in voter turnout in the last eight elections. The Minnesota Secretary of State's Office collected data on Election Day indicating that 76.05 percent of the state's eligible voters -- 2,948,382 people -- went to the polls. The reason? In the 2010 report from the GMU Election Project, associate professor Michael McDonald wrote, "Minnesota is a state firing on all cylinders, the prescription for higher levels of voter participation ... is thus clear. Do what Minnesota does: make it easy for people to vote, educate your citizenry, and hold interesting elections." His reference to making it easy for people to vote refers to Minnesota's policy of permitting same-day voter registration.
In Lake County, 884 voters registered at the polls last week and the Secretary of State's Office estimates that a total of 6,854 voters cast ballots.
With the exception of the election of Rick Nolan who unseated U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack, little changed for residents of the region. State Reps. Mary Murphy in House District 3A and David Dill in 3B retained their seats. State Sen. Tom Bakk will serve another term from Senate District 3, but will also serve at the Minnesota Senate's majority leader.
Statewide, changes were more noticeable.
"The results of the 2012 election for the Minnesota House of Representatives ended up nearly the reverse of that in 2010 when Republicans took the majority by a 72-62 edge," said Lee Ann Schultz of the House Public Information Service. Entering the 2013 session, the DFL will have a 73-61 majority, she said.
Minnesotans elected 42 new members to the 143 member Minnesota House -- 27 Democrats and 15 Republicans, shifting the balance of power. The new leadership in the House includes Speaker Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis; House Majority Leader Erin Murphy, DFL-St. Paul; House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, R-Crown.
In the Minnesota Senate, Democrats will hold a 58 to 42 percent majority. Leadership in the Senate, in addition to majority leader Bakk, will be Minority Leader Dave Hann, R-Eden Prairie.
Of the change in the make-up of the House and Senate, Bakk said, "(The election) says that the Republican agenda does not represent the majority of Minnesotans. Republicans have gotten the state off-track."
Speaking for the Republicans on the matter, Hann said: "The message used against us was a very misleading one." Others GOP members had stronger words.
"It's immoral," said former Republican state Rep. Dan Severson at the post-election Minnesota Republican Party gathering in Bloomington. "I'm in disbelief. If that's what Minnesota wants to do, I'm not a Minnesotan for long."
Minnesota women will be represented in greater number in the Minnesota House when the new session opens Jan. 8, 2013. Eleven newly elected women will join the 33 existing female members -- 28 Democrats, 16 Republicans.
In the Minnesota Senate, the breakdown by gender has women holding 23 of the seats -- eight Republicans and 15 Democrats. In total, 43 percent of the Senate will be female, according to the Senate's election directory.
To contact your legislators or the President of the United States consult the handy guide. Cut it out for future use. Rick Nolan's address in Washington, D.C. was not available at press time. Watch for it on the News-Chronicle website.
President of the United States Barack Obama
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar
302 Hart Senate Office Bldg.
Washington, D.C. 20510
U.S. Senator Al Franken
309 Hart Senate Office Bldg.
Washington, D.C. 20510
Minn. Sen. Tom Bakk
147 Senate Office Bldg.
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd.
St. Paul, Minn. 55155
Go to link and use email form
Minn. Rep Dave Dill
273 State Office Building
St. Paul, MN 55155
Minn. Rep. Mary Murphy
343 State Office Building
St. Paul, MN 55155