I spent my weekend hip-deep in spreadsheets. Not a bad weekend.

69.65% of us South Dakotans voted last week's election. Just about one in four of us voters (89,921 out of 368,177) did so early or absentee.

Following are the ten counties where voters turned out in the greatest numbers:

County Registered Voters Votes Cast Percent Turnout
Jones 750 622 82.93%
Haakon 1376 1108 80.52%
Harding 946 747 78.96%
Bon Homme 3971 3128 78.77%
Stanley 1991 1555 78.10%
Sully 1065 828 77.75%
Custer 5902 4565 77.35%
Gregory 2863 2193 76.60%
Kingsbury 3520 2652 75.34%
Hughes 10972 8256 75.25%

In all but one of these counties, Matt Varilek's ancestral Bon Homme land, Republicans made up over 50% of registered voters on Election Day. (Republicans make up 46.0% of the statewide voter pool.)

Who stayed out of the election most frequently?

County Registered Voters Votes Cast Percent Turnout
Walworth 3842 2518 65.54%
Bennett 1893 1229 64.92%
Mellette 1208 783 64.82%
Clay 8285 5294 63.90%
Brule 3403 2122 62.36%
Dewey 3099 1923 62.05%
Corson 2431 1223 50.31%
Todd 5008 2518 50.28%
Ziebach 1594 777 48.75%
Shannon 7778 3183 40.92%

Six of those counties have voter pools that are more than 50% Democratic. All but Walworth have Democratic contingents larger than the statewide average of 35.8%. It appears that South Dakota Democrats felt less motivated to get themselves to the polls than did South Dakota Republicans.

A majority of lowest turnout counties are Indian country, where poverty and incomplete Census data make it hard to get out the vote. The lack of an organized voter turnout effort by the South Dakota Democratic Party didn't help. Dewey and Bennett counties did see higher turnout than in 2008, but Shannon, Ziebach, Todd, Corson, and Brule saw declines from the last Presidential election, when the SDDP did organize get-out-the-vote drives.

Here's the full map, with highest turnout in the bright purple counties, lower in the faded counties. Click on each county to see its turnout, as well as its percentages of registered Republicans, Democrats, and Independents:

One bit of fantasy football: imagine Dems had come out in greater force in every county. Take the no-shows in each county and multiply by the local percentage of Democratic registration. You get 57,513 Dem votes.

Kristi Noem beat Matt Varilek by 53,891 votes statewide. When voters don't show up, they get a Congresswoman who doesn't show up.