How Utah Picks Its Politicians | Cover Story | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

How Utah Picks Its Politicians 

What you need to know about the Count My Vote reform that could revolutionize the process

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Utah's Voter Turnout: A Sad History

Count My Vote organizers say that though their reform will change politics forever in Utah, their intentions aren’t political. Their main focus, they say, is to get people involved and civically engaged by making the election process meaningful once again.

Count My Vote’s director, Rich McKeown, says that research shows that Utah’s well-educated, service-oriented population should be voting more than it does, leading him to suspect that the caucus system unfairly excludes people. “We believe there is a systemic issue here as opposed to a voter apathy issue,” McKeown says.

Critics, however, say that there are a lot of factors that go into low turnout, such as Utah’s one-party domination of politics making some citizens feel that their vote doesn’t matter.

Percent of Eligible Utah Voters Who Voted in the General Election:

Click below to enlarge

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Note: Higher turnout happens in presidential election years. Utahns came out in droves to vote against Bill Clinton in 1992, but even Mitt Romney couldn’t rally the stay-at-home nonvoters in 2012.

Source for 1990-2010: Utah Elections Office; 2012 data: George Mason University’s United States Elections Project

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