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Utah voters turned out in large numbers

Published November 7, 2012 2:02 pm

Counties • Clerks still counting absentee and provisional ballots.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

About 75 percent — more than 1.5 million — of registered active Utah voters cast ballots in the 2012 election — the best turnout in recent history.

By Wednesday, the Lt. Governor's Office had counted 1,513,241 ballots, or about 71 percent of the 1,284,170 active registered voters — those who have voted in the past few elections.

But Mark Thomas, state elections director, said Wednesday that county clerks throughout Utah have advised him that they have more absentee and provisional ballots than usual still to be counted.

In an average election, that would account for another 2 to 3 percent. This year it could be 3 to 4 percent, bringing the state total to about 75 percent, Thomas said.

The candidacy of adopted Utah favorite son, Mitt Romney, most likely boosted voter turnout, Thomas said.

By the time polls opened Tuesday, about 30 percent of Utah voters already had cast ballots at early voting locations.

But Thomas said early voting probably did not enhance turnout.

Identifying voting trends on a county-by-county basis won't be possible until after counties canvass ballot results, Thomas said. That is scheduled for Nov. 20.

Chris Smart