Voters in Carbon County, Utah endorse Kerry at primary polls
|Rose Morley marks her ballot at the Price City Library during the Democratic primary election on Tuesday. Just a little under 1000 people voted in Carbon County and the vast majority of them picked John Kerry as their selection to run against President George Bush in November's general election./small>|
Utah experienced an unusually high turnout for a single party election at the polls on Tuesday.
More than 35,000 registered Utah voters cast ballots in the Democratic Party's primary election on Feb. 24.
Out of the seven candidates listed on the Democratic primary ballot, Massachusetts Senator John Kerry captured 55.2 percent of the vote.
South Carolina Senator John Edwards finished a distant second, winning 29.8 percent of the ballots cast in the Utah Democratic primary election.
"In the 2000 Democratic presidential primary in Utah, just over 15,000 Utahns showed up to vote," noted a press release issued by state party officials on Tuesday night. "We more than doubled that number."
"We saw more than a 100 percent increase in our voter turnout to an unofficial total of 35,191 voters," added the Utah Democratic Party.
The increase in the number of voters could be due to a number of circumstances.
However, many political analysts attribute the turnout to the high degree of interest in the 2004 presidential race as well as the fact that Utah residents reaching 18 years of age by November's general election could cast a ballot by simply filling out a form at the primary polls.
According to many election judges at polling places throughout Utah, a significant number of the people who showed up to vote in the Democratic primary election were Republicans and members of other political parties.
Voting was heavy at the majority of polling places around the state.
The line at the main branch of the Salt Lake City Library spread down the block outside the building.
Wasatch Front residents wanting to voice personal political choices in the Democratic Party's presidential primary election waited in the line outside the building.
Carbon County is traditionally known as one of the Democratic Party's strongholds in an otherwise Republican state.
The majority of the local primary election polling places remained relatively busy throughout the day.
In fact, the election judges at the Price City Library reported that more than 150 voters had come through the primary polling place by approximately 2 p.m..
In addition to Utah, Idaho conducted a Democratic presidential primary election on Tuesday.
Hawaii also conducted a primary election caucus the evening of Feb. 24.
Kerry garnered the top number of ballots in all three contests.
According to political analysts, the Feb. 24 contests were likely overshadowed in the candidates' minds by the so-called "Super Tuesday" primary, scheduled next week in 10 states.
Only one of the Democratic presidential primary election candidates came to Utah to campaign, former Ohio Senator Dennis Kucinich.
In Carbon County, Kerry received almost 61 percent of the local vote.
Locally, 579 out of a total of 954 votes cast at the primary election polls in the county supported the Massachusetts senator.
Edwards earned 267 ballots or 28 percent of the Carbon County vote to finish in second place.
Kucinich got 25 votes or slightly more than 2 percent of the ballots cast at the local primary polls to take third.
Currently, 13,558 registered voters reside in the Carbon County area.
The local ballot count in the Democratic Party's presidential primary on Tuesday represented slightly more than 7 percent of the total number of registered Carbon residents.