Rhonda Silence

Record number of Cook County voters participate in 2020 election

Election Day was a record-setting occasion for Cook County voters as new commissioners were elected to the county board, the city council in Grand Marais and the local vote propelled incumbents back to their seats in the state Capitol.

There were 4,197 registered voters in Cook County by the end of Election Day 2020. Among them, 3,823 voted in this year’s election. That equates to just over 91 percent of registered voters in Cook County participating in the 2020 election.

“It’s the highest turnout percentage and number since I’ve been keeping records in 1992,” Powers told WTIP Nov. 5.

The next highest percentage was 87 percent in 2012 and next highest number of total votes was 3,362 in 2008, Powers added.

The new Cook County Commissioners elected Nov. 3 are Ann Sullivan and Stacey Hawkins. The new member of the Grand Marais City Council is Michael Garry. Incumbent Craig Schulte was reelected this year, as was Mayor Jay Arrowsmith-Decoux.

In addition to the local races, Cook County voters played a key role in the reelection of District 3A Rep. Rob Ecklund to the Minnesota House. During an interview on WTIP Nov. 5, Ecklund said “Cook County (voters) put me over the top” in reference to his close race with GOP challenger Thomas Manninen. Though it was very close for most of election night, Ecklund won the 3A seat by 1,178 votes. Every precinct in Cook County went for Ecklund by a wide margin this year. Similarly, each precinct in Cook County went for incumbent State Sen. Tom Bakk.

Cook County voters also went heavily for presidential candidate Joe Biden, with more than 65 percent of local voters supporting the former vice president.