ELECTIONS

Analysis shows ‘sizable’ gap in Salt Lake’s west side/east side voter turnout

Nov 23, 2022, 11:15 AM | Updated: Oct 26, 2023, 1:29 pm

A Washington County ballot drop box is pictured. Having a winning, or losing, candidate is one reas...

A ballot drop box. Having a winning, or losing, candidate is one reason for declining election trust said the Sutherland Institute.(Meghan Thackrey/KSL TV)

(Meghan Thackrey/KSL TV)

SALT LAKE CITY — Voters on Salt Lake City’s west side turned out for the 2022 midterms at a much lower rate than their east-side counterparts.

A KSL.com analysis of precinct data showed that the average voter turnout for west-side voting precincts was 50% compared to 69.8% of east-side precincts. Voter turnout for Salt Lake County overall was 64%.

The term “west side” can be a bit subjective, but the analysis used I-15 as the divider between the west and east sides of the city. One west-side precinct (Precinct 2) only had four registered voters and was not included in the analysis.

That 20% difference between east and west voter turnout is a big gap, said James Curry, a University of Utah political science professor.

“I’d say that’s pretty sizable,” Curry said. “That’s often the kind of gap we’re talking about between younger and older voters, roughly. Older voters tend to turn out, about that same difference, more than younger voters. We obviously make a big to-do about youth turnout in the country, so I’d say 20% is pretty big.”

Curry identified three factors that likely contributed to the gap: socioeconomic differences, partisan drivers and voter access differences.

Read the full story on KSL.com.

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Analysis shows ‘sizable’ gap in Salt Lake’s west side/east side voter turnout