North Dakota's Early Primary Voting Nearly Equals High 2012 Levels


Early voting is over, and today North Dakota’s go the polls to vote in the primary. Which, for the gubernatorial race, may as well be the general election since it’s widely expected that the winner of the Republican race between Wayne Stenehjem, Doug Burgum, and Paul Sorum will go on to be the governor.

The early voting turnout was very strong, by historical standards. The 2012 election year saw big turnout for North Dakota. Our June primary that cycle saw one of the largest turnouts in the nation, and the general election actually saw the largest number of voters in state history.

So it’s interesting, then, that early voting this June nearly matched the turnout for theĀ 2012 primary:

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Looking at the state’s most populated counties, Cass saw the most early voting (as you would expect given that they, by far, have the state’s largest voting population) but voting was strong in Grand Forks and Burleigh counties as well. For what it’s worth, a Cass County election said early turnout “wasn’t extraordinary,” which is interesting given that overall turnout was quite high compared to past primaries.

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What does all this mean for the outcome of tonight’s primary vote? Who knows. I’ve given up trying to look at data points like this and convince myself I know something.

This is an unusual primary in an unusual election cycle, and anyone telling you they’ve got a line on what the outcome is going to be this evening isn’t telling you the truth.

You can look at the early voting data for yourself right here.