Voting Ballots 2019 Jefferson County - 2.jpg

Jefferson County election workers collect ballots on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019, at a 24-hour drop box outside Green Mountain Recreation Center in Lakewood.

If Colorado did not already have a rivalry with Minnesota before Wednesday, it does now.

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet volunteered Coloradans to capture the title for highest voter turnout from the reigning champions in the Land of 10,000 lakes. 

“In the last election Colorado came in second in voter turnout. We don't like coming in second in Colorado,” said Bennet, standing in front of Pike’s Peak in a video posted to Twitter. “And so I’ve challenged my friend and colleague, [U.S. Sen.] Amy Klobuchar, this year. Minnesota came in first last time. Colorado’s coming first in 2020.”

Of the voting-eligible population in 2018, 61.4% cast ballots in Colorado. That compared to 64.2% for Minnesota. (Wisconsin tied Colorado’s turnout rate.) In the previous presidential election, Minnesota again led, with Maine, New Hampshire and Colorado trailing.

Klobuchar, D-Minn., responded shortly afterward with a braggadocious video of her own.

“Hey, Michael, challenge accepted. But I think you are going to truly regret challenging me and the great state of Minnesota,” she said. “That’s because we have such a proud history of significant engagement. We have led the nation in voter turnout in eight of the last nine presidential elections. I think that officially makes us a dynasty.”

She continued by complimenting Colorado’s vote-by-mail system and its “great secretary of state,” referring to Jena Griswold, but believed that Minnesota’s alleged dynasty would “come out on top again.”

The two decided they would toast the winner with a craft beer from the victorious state. “I know again you’ve got some good stuff going on there in Colorado,” Klobuchar allowed, a nod to the 1.5 million barrels of craft beer produced in the state. Minnesota, by contrast, lost that contest, producing only 645,000 barrels.

Bennet and Klobuchar were competitors in another friendly matchup this year: both of them sought the Democratic Party’s nomination for president.

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