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Voting

Voters fill out ballots Tuesday at the Thunder Bird Gymnasium at Casper College. The midterms sparked a record voter turnout nationally.

More than 70 percent of registered Natrona County voters cast ballots in Tuesday’s election, the highest turnout in a midterm election in at least a decade.

A total of 24,662 local voters participated in the midterm election, according to statistics from the Natrona County Clerk’s Office. That’s roughly 3,300 more than in the last mid-term election in 2014, when voter turnout stood at roughly 63 percent, and 1,300 more than the 2010 mid-terms, when turnout reached nearly 68 percent.

There were 35,113 registered voters in the county as of Tuesday.

The local jump in turnout mirrored a national trend. An early estimate from the United State Elections Project showed 113.4 million people voted in Tuesday’s election. That’s a dramatic increase compared with the 2014 and 2010 midterms.

In fact, 30 million more people participated in Tuesday’s election compared with the 2014 midterms, representing 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.

Democrats’ blue wave was real. But so was a corresponding surge in Republican enthusiasm that allowed the president’s party to counter the Democrats’ new House majority with big wins in top contests for the Senate and governorships this week.

Chief Deputy Clerk Tracy Good attributed the increase in Natrona County voter turnout to that national uptick.

“I truly think it’s probably just the national trend, to be quite honest,” she said.

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She did note that the competitive race among Republican candidates for governor led to more voters in the Aug. 21 primary.

While the county clerk’s office had to contend with more voters than usual, officials there said the Election Day went smoothly. There were no reports of long lines or technical failures, which had plagued other states.

“It went very well,” Good said. “It was very streamlined.”

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Editor

Joshua Wolfson joined the Star-Tribune in 2007, covering crime and health before taking over the arts section in 2013. He also served as managing editor before being named editor in June 2017. He lives in Casper with his wife and their two kids.

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