Pew Trusts: Utah voter turnout vaults from 45th in country to 13th in four years

This article originally appeared in KUTV. Read it in its entirety here.

(KUTV) — Voter turnout in Utah vaulted from 45th in the country to 13th in the course of four years, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts.

The Pew Charitable Trusts stated in a May 8 article that Utah’s voter turnout jumped from 45th overall in country in 2014 to 13th in 2018, which was the first year all counties used both same-day registration and vote-at-home options, with increases ranging from 21 points in the state, where about 58% of the voting-age population voted. The Pew Trusts also stated that Utah also allows residents to automatically register to vote when they get a new driver’s license.

“The legislature has always passed the policies that take away barriers to voting, balanced with measures to make sure people are who they say they are,” stated Justin Lee, Utah’s director of elections, in the Pew Trusts article.

According to U.S. Census Bureau data collected by the Pew Trusts, Utah’s turnout rose from about 37% of residents in 2014. The Pew Trusts stated that the medical marijuana initiative was the biggest vote-getter in Utah. Along with the ballot initiatives on independent redistricting and Medicaid expansion, it gave Millennials a reason to vote; and, nonprofits reached out to them throughout the year in registration drives, stated Chase Thomas, the executive director of the Alliance for a Better Utah.

“These issues really energized the left-leaning segment of our electorate in Salt Lake County and other parts of the state that has felt their vote didn’t really matter before because of the extreme conservative bent,” Thomas stated in the article.

This article originally appeared in KUTV. Read it in its entirety here.

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