With less than a dozen days left until the general election, early turnout among registered voters in Utah is lower than election officials were expecting.
About 16 percent of Utah voters have cast ballots so far ahead of the November 8 election.
Mark Thomas, Utah’s director of elections, says ballots have been slowly trickling in.
“You know, it’s a little bit lower than what we were hoping and expecting to see, so we continue to monitor that to ensure that the things we do internally help increase that,” he says.
He says it’s hard to compare turnout directly to 2012 because not as many counties participated in mail-in balloting and voters were given an extra week to return them. But he says normally, at this time, they would like to be around the 20-25 percent range.
“So what we’ll do early next week is see where we are at, and decide, ‘Do we need to react to that?’" says Thomas. "Because one of the things we need to do as election administrators, is ensure that we have enough polling locations open with machines available on election day if for some reason people are waiting till the last minute to vote.”
Thomas says of the polling locations that are open, voters can take advantage of the fact that there aren’t long lines.
More than half of the 214,000 ballots that have been cast have come from Salt Lake County, and most of them by mail. Early in-person voting is available to Salt Lake residents through next Friday.
Thomas says his office has yet to receive any complaints or reports of irregularities among precincts. But they’re still fielding questions about the integrity of the elections following the Trump campaign’s accusations of election rigging.
The final day to register to vote in the general election is next Tuesday, Nov. 1.