UTAH COUNTY, Utah (ABC4 News) – As Republican nominee Donald Trump and Independent Evan McMullin run neck and neck in the polls in Utah many will be looking to see how the conservative vote plays out. Could Utah County be the one to look out for during election night for the answer?
An estimated 90% of the residents in Utah County are Mormon and the county is one of the most conservative counties in the country, ranking in the top 3 of most conservative counties. The Utah County Clerk says if you want a good idea of how Republicans will be voting on election night, you might want to keep an eye on Utah County. And if Utah County is any indication of the conservative vote then it’s safe to say conservatives are turning up at the polls.
“We are having an increased number turnout than normal years,” said Utah County Clerk Bryan Thompson. “Already in just a little over 3 days of early voting 10,000 people have already voted here in Utah County.”
Unlike Salt Lake County, voters in Utah County tend to mostly vote Republican and the county could be a good representation of who the winner will be in our state on election night.
“…But it doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re the model that the whole country should follow,” says Thompson. “But, that being said because I share some of those values I think it’s important that we stand for those conservative principles.”
And as conservatives struggle to choose between Trump and McMullin County Clerk Thompson says if McMullin takes Utah County it could be an early sign that he could take the state as well.
“As the results come in if he starts doing quite well it will be interesting to see if that is a bellwether of how he’s gonna do in the rest of the state,” said Thompson.
Thompson says when the polls close on election night, the County Clerk’s Office will be releasing the numbers of early voting. Giving Utahns a first look at the trends and patterns they’re seeing in Utah County and quite possibly the way the rest of the vote will go in Utah on Election Night.
‘If people want to see how the conservatives come out and vote, yea, look at Utah County and that will give them a good idea,” says Thompson.
So far 260,000 Utahns are registered to vote in Utah County and 40,000 of them have requested absentee ballots. He emphasizes that absentee ballots must be postmarked by November 7th in order for them to be counted. Early voting began on Tuesday October 25th, with about 10,000 people voting in those first 3 days. Voters can also visit any of the 120 polling locations on Election Day to cast their vote.
As the county is seeing a record number turnout they’re looking to get more volunteers to help on election night in anticipation of high turn out that day.
“We like to have some in reserve because there’s always people that end up having a family emergency and are building our pool. Anybody that’s interested can go to utahelectionworker.com,” said Thompson.
The county is offering a stipend for any volunteers. You must be a registered voter in Utah County in order to volunteer.