LYNN — In one of the most politically divisive times in U.S. history, the city followed a nationwide trend, which saw an increase in midterm election voter turnout over 2014. Experts are attributing the record-breaking turnout to President Donald ...and more »
Democrats were able to take the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives halfway through the first term of the Republican president. The GOP retained control of the Senate. Ballots also featured races for governorship and other state elections.
In Lynn, City Clerk Janet Rowe is attributing the increase in voter turnout over the 2014 midterm election to an increase in new voters and the early voting option which debuted in 2016.
Although record-breaking numbers were seen nationwide, Lynn only saw a slight increase in voter turnout from 2014, 46 percent to 42 percent, according to Rowe.
"In this election, we experienced a lot of new voters who came to the office inquiring where they were supposed to be voting and we also had many that 'early voted' in City Hall as well," Rowe wrote in an email. "Early voters accounted for over 3,000 votes in this election."
Rowe said many elderly and out-of-town residents also chose to take advantage of absentee voting, including students and people with health problems, which accounted for 1,254 ballots cast.
"With more options on how to get the vote out, including social media, YouTube, and local television programs such as (Lynn Community Television), I anticipate that we will continue to see an increase in voter turnout," said Rowe.
Rowe said the turnout was about on par with average midterm elections in the city, which unsurprisingly sees its largest turnout in presidential elections. In 2016, when Trump was elected over Democrat Hillary Clinton, turnout was 65 percent. There were more than 7,000 early voters in the first year of its availability.
On the other end of the spectrum, local elections bring out the lowest number of voters, with an average turnout of 28 percent, according to Rowe.
According to the Associated Press, 113 million Americans cast ballots nationwide, which represented the highest raw vote total for a non-presidential election in U.S. history and the highest overall voter participation rate in a midterm election in a half century.
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