POLITICS

Salt Lake County Residents Already Voting In Record Numbers

Nov 1, 2018, 10:31 PM | Updated: Nov 2, 2018, 12:42 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – After watching several people drop their ballots off at the drop box outside the Salt Lake County government center, it is clear people are excited to vote this year.

“I’m voting!” said one woman, while raising both her arms to the sky.

“Thanks!” said another man, who ran to the drop box.

“It’s just things are nuts,” said another woman, who said everyone should vote.

Voter dropping off his ballot

Officials said Salt Lake County residents have been voting in record numbers.

“People are returning their ballots in numbers that we’ve never seen,” said Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen.

As of Thursday night, Swensen said 43 percent of registered voters in Salt Lake County have already sent their mail-in ballots back. That’s nearly 210,000 voters.

Voting

In the 2016 Presidential Race, Salt Lake County had a total 229,000 voters. There were still five days to go.

“It’s incredible. People just being interested and engaged and sending their ballots back,” said Swensen.

Voting booths

Part of the reason for such a high voter turnout so far might be because of interesting races, like Love-McAdams, Gill-Evershed, and even Romney-Wilson.

However, Swensen said she’s hearing something else is getting people to vote.

“I’m hearing from a lot of candidates that it’s Prop 2,” said Swenson.

Proposition 2 is the medical marijuana initiative.

Although voters have strong opinions on that, Swensen said think the high turnout is also because the vote by mail option makes it easier than ever.

“We send every registered voter in the county a ballot and it is postage paid, return envelope. Can’t make it easier than that,” she said. “They have time to look at the candidates, the issues, make decisions, and put the ballot back in the mail.”

Ballot drop box

Swensen also said she thinks, when all the votes are counted, it’s possible to see voter turnout approaching 70 percent.

“I hope we can reach that. That would be wonderful and unheard of in a midterm election,” said Swenson. “We have had over 25,000 new registered voters.”

It just shows voters seem to care more than ever. Or they’re as frustrated as ever.

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Salt Lake County Residents Already Voting In Record Numbers