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Democrats outpace Republicans for new voter registration

Salt Lake City residents casting their votes during the 2016 election. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

SALT LAKE CITY —  Mid-terms elections are historically known for a dismal voter turnout.  On average, only 40-percent of voters who show up for the ‘main event’ elections, turn in a ballot in the off-years. But the voter registration volume has increased 1000 percent from the 2014 mid-terms and Democrats appear to be leading the charge.

Hinckley Institute of Politics Director, Morgan Cotti believes leftover emotions from the 2016 election and a number of citizens’ initiatives are fueling the increased number of voter registrations.  So far, the typically more liberal voters are outpacing more conservative voter registrations by 3.1 percent in Utah.

But Republicans aren’t sitting on their laurels, Cotti says.

“While those opposed to President Donald Trump are deciding to be more engaged, those people excited by Trump are anxious to continue to support him,” she points out.

The state’s lieutenant governor, who oversees elections in Utah, has also been urging Utahns to register to vote.

According to state voter registration data, Republicans added 5.6 percent to its rolls over the 2016 election cycle.  Democrat rolls increased 15 percent. However, Utah’s status as a “red” state – leaning heavily Republican – is not in doubt, as registered Republicans outnumber Democrats in Utah by more than three to one.

The United States Election Project shows Utah will have 2,081,767 eligible voters for the 2018 election.  Of those eligible voters, 756,136 are registered as GOP and 200,000 as Democrat.