More than 55,000 Utahns have already cast their ballots in this year’s primary election — even though it does not officially occur until next Tuesday. And those wishing to vote early may still do so through Friday.
The office of Lt. Gov. Greg Bell reports that through Tuesday, 55,068 Utahns had cast ballots early — or 3.7 percent of the registered voters in the state.
Most of those — 42,656 — voted by mail either with absentee ballots or in some rural districts that county clerks have designated as by-mail-only districts.
Another 12,412 voted early at city halls, churches and other designated early polling places. A list of those early voting sites is available at vote.utah.gov. Early voting closes after Friday, and then voters may only cast ballots at regular poll sites on Tuesday.
Primary races this year include a race for the U.S. Senate between incumbent Orrin Hatch and challenger Dan Liljenquist; attorney general, between John Swallow and Sean Reyes; state auditor, between incumbent Auston Johnson and John Dougall; Salt Lake County mayor, between Mark Crockett and Mike Winder; and 15 legislative races.
The Republican Party requires voters to register as Republicans to participate in its primary, although unaffiliated voters may do that at the polls. After the primary, voters also are free to change their registration back.
Other parties allow any registered voter to take part in their primaries. People may vote in only one party’s primary.
Utah Democrats have one congressional primary in the 1st District between Ryan Combe and Donna McAleer, along with primaries in three legislative races.
The Constitution Party has a primary for its nominee for governor between Brandon Nay and Kirk Pearson.