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Mail-in ballots should be showing up this week, experts expect big turnout

FILE- A employee at the Utah County Election office puts mail in ballots into a container to register the vote in the midterm elections on November 6, 2018 in Provo, Utah. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — The pandemic and Utah’s law allowing for mail-in ballots are leading experts to think that the Beehive State could see quite a turnout for this year’s election.

Jason Perry, director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah, says it’s the perfect storm. “Because it’s easy, because it’s there, [and] people are sitting right there with the ballots in front of them,” he said.   

Utah is conducting a mail-in-ballot-only for the primary on June 30, and the ballots should be showing up in mailboxes this week. Perry predicts that voter participation will be high because people are working from home and have a desire for solid leadership in the wake of the global pandemic.  

Perry thinks that’s not the only thing that might seem contradictory in an election season where voters can’t “get out” to the polls.  Jon Huntsman, Jr. is quarantining because one of his staff is positive for COVID-19. 

Perry says that Huntsman staying off of the campaign trail would have hurt the candidate’s chances in past years. But after the events so far in 2020, that’s not the case anymore.

“Just a few months ago it would have been a different kind of answer, but these candidates have already been forced to interact with voters in whole new ways,” Perry said.  “The real question is the impact of the virus on the gubernatorial debates coming up in the near future.” 

You can find more information on the primary election and register to vote here