Two cities in Salt Lake County that agreed to be test cases for voting by mail recorded higher turnout in their municipal elections than most other cities across the state. “I’d like to think that we had great voter turnout because we had great candidates and they wanted to vote for the mayor. I would like to think that, but I know better,” said reelected Cottonwood Heights Mayor Kelvyn Cullimore, Jr. “We had the opportunity to be one of the test cases for voting by mail, and we thought that was a great opportunity to engage our citizens more than is typical in a municipal election.” Cullimore and city council members approved the vote-by-mail election this year, after the county asked them if they were interested. The turnout in Cottonwood Heights was about double what previous municipal election in the city have yielded, according to Cullimore. “We had 40 percent voter turnout, and that was incredible for a municipal election,” Cullimore said. The other test case in Salt Lake County, West Jordan, saw 30 percent turnout, as voters weighed in on a nearly $500 million Jordan School District Bond.
“Their turnout so far, before everything’s counted, was over 30 percent. Comparatively, they haven’t had nearly those numbers in a mayor’s election in the past,” said Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swenson. “It was very exciting to see the increase in the voter participation with the vote-by-mail election, and they were significantly higher than the other cities.” Overall, turnout was about 26 percent across all the cities in Salt Lake County.
In Salt Lake City, 19 percent hit the polls on Election Day, but a mail-in opinion poll in September asking citizens about a Supreme Court ruling yielded a 24-percent return, according to city recorder Cindi Mansell, who deduced that voters prefer mailing in ballots.
Both Cullimore and Swenson agree that the numbers suggest voters favor the mail option.
Full Article: Voter Turnout Higher in Vote-By-Mail Test Cities | KUTV.com.