Another election is just nine weeks away and some people are still arguing about who won the last two presidential elections. In 2016, the Electoral College vote put Donald Trump in the White House, but Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. In 2020, Joe Biden won the Electoral College vote as well as the popular vote, but Trump and his crew still claim, without facts or evidence, that he actually won.
The truth is, in the last two presidential elections, “nobody” won. There were more eligible voters who didn’t vote than the number of people who voted for either candidate.
In the 2016 presidential election, more than 102.9 million people who were eligible did not vote. The nobodies beat Trump’s 63 million votes and Clinton’s 65.8 million votes.
When the most people in history voted for president in 2020, the nobodies still outpolled the actual candidates. Some 81.2 million people voted for Biden and 74.2 million people voted for Trump. But almost 84 million people who could vote didn’t.
Minnesotans proudly led the nation in 2020 when almost 80 percent of eligible voters turned out. Oklahoma ranked last with a turnout of just 55 percent.
Traditionally, turnout drops in midterm elections. But in Minnesota, non-presidential election years are just as significant as presidential elections. In non-presidential years, Minnesotans elect all statewide constitutional officers including governor, secretary of state, attorney general and auditor. The 2022 vote is even more significant because after redistricting based on the 2020 Census, all 67 senators and 134 representatives in the Legislature will be elected. The Nov. 8 election will not only decide which party holds the governorship but also which party will control the House and Senate. Heading into the election, Minnesota is one of only three states, along with Alaska and Virginia, with split control of the Legislature.
There’s no reason to stay home this fall. If you haven’t registered, you can do it online. If you think you’ll be too busy to vote on Election Day, that’s no reason not to vote. Early absentee voting begins on Sept. 23. You can vote in person or by mail and you don’t need an excuse to get an absentee ballot.
Go to mnvotes.org for all the information you need to vote. You can register, request an absentee ballot, find out where to vote in person early or on Election Day and you can view a sample ballot.
Don’t assume your polling place or voting district is the same as it was in 2020. Because of Covid-19, some polling locations changed. After redistricting, some precinct and other political boundaries have been redrawn.
Voting in state and national elections is one of the most important things we can do. It is voting that puts people in office – from our local officials to the president.
Don’t be a “nobody” this year. When “nobody” votes, nobody wins.