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Secretary of State talks elections in Glencoe

Minnesota topped the nation in voting during the 2016 general election, Minnesota Secretary of State Steven Simon said in a visit to Glencoe Thursday morning.
Simon met with McLeod County Auditor-Treasurer Cindy Schultz and her staff about the election and upcoming election needs.
Simon said that the Minnesota Legislature eliminated the “excuse” component for absentee ballot prior to the 2016 election, which means people did not need to supply a reason for not being able to make it to the polls on election day and therefore needed to vote by absentee ballot.
Removal of that requirement boosted absentee voting to 23.85 percent of ballots cast, and Minnesota had a total voter turnout of over 74 percent, the top state in the nation.
Schultz said that people like the opportunity to vote without having to physically go to the polls.
“The word is catching on,”  Schultz said.
Simon said he has heard similar comments, and that absentee balloting helped push Minnesota back to its number-one spot in voter turnout. New Hampshire held that spot in the previous general election.
“Take that, New Hampshire,” Simon joked.
For more about Simon's visit, see the Feb. 1 print edition of The Chronicle.