Local election tallies show Bemidji backed Biden while Beltrami stayed red

Combination picture of Donald Trump and Joe Biden
A combination picture shows U.S. President Donald Trump pumping his fist during a campaign event at Capital Region International Airport in Lansing, Michigan, on Oct. 27, and Democratic U.S. presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden making a fist during a drive-in campaign stop in Des Moines, Iowa, on Oct. 30. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/Brian Snyder/File Photos

BEMIDJI -- After going blue in three straight presidential elections, Republicans now have a streak of their own in Beltrami County.

For the second presidential election cycle, President Donald Trump won Beltrami County. In 2016, Trump won the county over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton 10,783-8,688.

In 2020, Trump was victorious again, finishing ahead of former Vice President Joe Biden, 12,181-11,423. Trump's two wins are a transition for Beltrami County, which backed Democratic candidates in 2004, 2008 and 2012.

Despite Trump winning Beltrami, though, the county seat went for Biden.

In Bemidji, Biden won the vote count 3,787-3,065. The result is a switch from 2016, where Trump earned more Bemidji votes, 2,912-2,793.


Bemidji was also the site of the closest margin in Beltrami County in the presidential race. In Bemidji Ward 3's second precinct, Trump won by just nine votes, 304-295.

The largest margin of victory for Trump in Beltrami County was O'Brien Township, where the president won all of the 26 votes cast. Biden, meanwhile, had his best margin in Ponemah, winning 396-10, amounting to 96% of the vote.

Plenty of voters opted not to support the two major parties this year, although not as many in 2016. Four years ago, 1,845 voted for candidates not on the Democratic or Republican ticket, while 516 chose not to support Biden or Trump this year.

Of the two major American third parties, Libertarian candidate Jo Jorgensen earned 256 votes in Beltrami County, while Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins received 75. Those numbers are down from 2016, where Libertarian Gary Johnson had 780 votes and Green candidate Jill Stein received 420.

In the case of other 2020 candidates, the results were:

  • Independent candidate Kanye West with 95 votes.
  • Independent candidate Brock Pierce with 33 votes.
  • Independence-Alliance candidate Roque De La Fuente with 31 votes.
  • Socialism and Liberation candidate Gloria La Riva with 17 votes.
  • Socialist Workers candidate Alyson Kennedy with nine votes.

According to the Minnesota Secretary of State's website, there are 27,518 registered voters in Beltrami, and on Thursday, County Auditor-Treasurer JoDee Treat said more than 12,000 residents voted absentee this year.
In speaking to the Pioneer, Treat said the county receives three types of ballots, absentee ballots by mail or in drop boxes, election day ballots at polling places and direct ballots. The latter are ballots where residents voted absentee at the county auditor's office.

On election day, Treat said the direction from the secretary of state's office was to report the election day ballots first.

Moving forward, Treat said the county has received about 25 absentee ballots that were postmarked on Nov. 3. Treat said those ballots have been segregated and on Tuesday, Nov. 10, her department will go through them and either accept or reject them, based on direction from the secretary of state's office.



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