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Record-breaking election year in Utah, officials say

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 — Utah election officials have certified the final election results for the state, and say Utahns should be proud.

Because voter turnout – was huge, the biggest turnout since 1964 according to the State Director of Elections, Justin Lee.

He said 1.5 million Utahns cast votes this election. That’s a turnout of about 90%.

What drove the Utah election turnout 

There was one major contributing factor to Utah’s 90% voter turnout in November — all 29 counties offered the vote-by-mail option. And the vast majority, 94% of voters, chose to vote by mail, either via the U.S. Postal Service or through a dropbox.

RELATED: Rep. McAdams concedes to Burgess Owens in Utah’s 4th District race

More eligible voters turned out in 2020, nearly 70%. Utah’s previous high, according to Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, was 59.83% in 2004. Records for the number of eligible voters turning out to vote go back to the year 2000.

Less than 1% of ballots were rejected according to Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, who tweeted his response.  And he said that number is nearly identical to past elections. He said if a ballot was rejected it was either late or had a signature that didn’t match the signature on file with the state.

Goal achieved

The large voter turnout is something, said Lt. Gov. Cox, he had as a goal since 2016, the year he became Utah’s Lt. Governor.

“[In 2016] we were in the bottom 5 nationally for voter turnout. Our number one goal was to significantly change that,” Cox said.

“I can’t take any credit, but I’m so proud of my staff, clerks, legislators, and voters, who steadily turned that ranking around.”