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Vote By Mail Increasing Turnout in Salt Lake County

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With a little more than a week left before the deadline to send in vote by mail ballots for municipal primary elections, Salt Lake County officials says they’re already seeing higher voter participation.

The Salt Lake County Clerks office sent out about 121 thousand primary ballots on July 14, and in two weeks they’ve already received about 19 thousand in return. That’s about 15.9% voter turnout and there’s still a week and a half before the August 10th deadline to send them back.

“To have 15.9% back in at this point in time is really good," says Salt Lake County Clerk Sherry Swenson.  "And we know that there will be a lot more ballots coming back in.”

She says participation in this year’s primary elections is already greater than the final total for 2011’s general elections by 3%. She also says these early results already prove one of the main benefits of vote by mail.

“More people participating means a better democracy. To have more input from voters,” Swenson says.

While vote by mail is the main method to vote in all but two municipalities in the county, there will still be several voting centers open on election day, including four in Salt Lake City. 

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