Utah Breaks its Record for Amount of Votes
January 12, 2021
More Utahn voters have voted in the 2020 election than in any other past election. This is what the state election office has reported on November 3. In 2016 there were a total of 1.15 million votes, with only 86% of eligible voters voting. But now in 2020, there have already been 1.22 million votes with only 72% of voters who have voted. Officials suspect that this number will increase dramatically, especially with votes not being fully counted until November 23.
With the Covid-19 outbreak, mail-in voting has been even more popular and over the years the number of mail-in ballots has been growing. The Elections Director Justine Lee commented that “This turnout shows that vote by mail really works well, so in the future people have more confidence in the system.”
Those who did not vote by mail-in ballot have lined up at the poll station, and the turnout has already been historic. But on Monday, November 2, Summit County’s Clerk office reported that they are under quarantine until November 6, which is this upcoming Friday. With 18,000 ballots received through October 30, the clerk’s office intends to post all the results as soon as they can get out of quarantine.
With the virus as well, election officials say voters should use ballot drop boxes or they can go to voting centers to drop them off, there they can get help if they didn’t receive a ballot, want to register to vote, or need other assistance. “I think we will have people who are just determined to vote on Election Day and just show up anyway. That’s a concern,” said Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen. An outbreak due to voting would be disastrous and slow down the election all together making more work for everyone.
The virus isn’t the only thing that election officials should be worried about. Reports of possible protests have risen up as well. Most downtown restaurants and office buildings have boarded up their windows and doors hoping that nothing is destroyed due to the protests. Salt Lake County alone has 59 centers open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. All of these have been boarded up as well just in case protests come through.
At the end of it all election officials and citizens are anxious to hear the results of the election and do what needs to be done to vote correctly, which has ultimately led to an increase in voter turnout.