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We like to think all of you out there will flock to the polls in respectable numbers for tomorrow’s primary election in Utah. KSL certainly encourages you to vote. Reality, however, tells us very few of you will actually cast a ballot.
Blame it mainly on the ridiculous decision made more than a decade ago to hold Utah primary elections in June rather than September. The last primary election held in September - in 1992 - garnered a respectable 49% voter turnout. Since moving to June turnout has been pathetic: 15% in 1994, 17% in 1996, 14% in 1998, 19% in 2000 and 12% in 2002.
June simply isn’t a good time for an election. Pleasant weather, summer activities and vacations provide too many distractions. People have a hard time getting into a political mood.
Also contributing to the dismal participation more recently is the GOP’s exclusionary practice of only allowing registered republicans to vote.
In KSL’s view, Utah has experimented with the June primary long enough to know it doesn’t work. It is time to correct a 12-year-old mistake. The Utah Legislature should move primary election day back to September where it belongs.
That said, we genuinely hope more than a few of you will actually cast ballots tomorrow.