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Primary Election off to Slow Start in Salt Lake County

Brian via Wikimedia Commons

Polls are open until 8 pm tonight for today’s primary election. But voter turnout in Salt Lake County is already very low.

Salt Lake County Clerk Sherri Swensen says mail-in ballots and votes cast prior to Election Day might bring voter turnout into a double digits percentage this year. But right now, she says turnout is only about 6 percent locally.  She says mail-in ballots can be post-marked by midnight tonight.

“As far as the polling locations this morning, where typically people may be going to vote on their way to work,” Swensen says, “there weren’t any lines and we’ve heard things throughout the county of their only being up to this point in time 20, 25 people who have voted so far and those are actually some of the higher numbers.”

Swenson says June primaries are typically slow, but participation can be higher, depending on the races. In the last two June Primaries, turnout was nearly 20 percent.

“If there is a high profile race, a federal race or a state race that generates a lot of interest they’re higher but at this point with county-wide contests for county offices, it just hasn’t generated as much interest,” she says.

Among the races on the ballot in Salt Lake County Democrats Jeff Hatch and Christopher Stout are facing off and hoping to challenge incumbent Republican Salt Lake County Auditor Gregory Hawkins.

Republicans Jacquie Nielsen and George Chapman are battling it out this primary election for the district two state senate seat held by Democrat Jim Dabakis.

And Republican Kevin Jacobs is battling rival Republican Jake Parkinson to keep his place as Salt Lake County Assessor.

There are also seven non-partisan, local school board races in Canyons, Jordan, Salt Lake City and Murray School Districts. 

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