SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) – A local organization is taking a closer look at voter habits in Utah.
Our state has one of the lowest voter participation rates in the entire country. This new report takes a look at why.
In 2016, Utah ranked 39th in the nation for voter turnout. It marks a sharp decline for our state over the last few decades.
“Forty years ago we were higher, we had better turnout than the national average. Now, we are far below the national average,” said Utah Foundation Research Director Shawn Teigen.
The Utah Foundation released an updated study looking into that, and other election issues.
There are several possible reasons for low turnout, but understanding them may help return Utah to the higher ranks.
“One, is civic duty, whether or not you think it’s important to go out and vote or not. Another one, is whether your vote makes a difference or not, and a big part of that has to do with this uncompetitive nature of certain races,” said Teigen.
In 2016, 71% of state races were won by 30% or more.
The brief also looks ahead to 2018, and the impact five potential ballot initiatives could have on the election.
“We aren’t taking a position on either of them with this report, but we do think that these issues of redistricting, and the electoral process are important for citizens to carefully consider,” said Utah Foundation President Peter Reichard.
The report also looks into how divided the Utah electorate is, the impact of mail-in ballots and much more.