Utah County voter turnout much higher than 2016

Marcio Jose Sanchez
Ellen Sathe casts an early vote in 2016. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Voter turnout in Utah County was significantly higher than usual, county officials reported. 

Utah County Clerk/Auditor Amelia Powers Gardner said presidential elections typically have the highest voter turnout. In 2016, 74.4% of registered voters participated in the election, but this year the county is reporting upwards of 89% turnout, Gardner said. 

Gardner said she thinks the increase in votes is because there was greater interest in this election. She also said that since Utah County is typically a Republican county, many people don’t bother to vote because they know what the results will be anyway. However, with Utah County’s government structure on the ballot with Proposition 9, more people wanted a say in their local government. 

“People knew that Prop 9 wasn’t a Republican or Democrat issue. So I think that made people feel like their voice needed to be heard,” Gardner said.

Gardner said that 90% of voters used the ballot that was sent to them rather than voting in person.

“They used the ballot we mailed them because over 75% of our ballots came back through drop boxes, not actually through the Postal Service,” Gardner said. 

There wasn’t a specific demographic that had a higher voter turnout because the overall vote count was so high. However, Gardner made a point of saying that she was very impressed with the college demographic turnout. 

“The college students did a fantastic job. The ones who missed the 10,000 reminders from Snapchat and Instagram to register to vote still showed up to register on election day,” Gardner said. 

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