2012 Election Snapshot: Utah Voters Increase Their Use of Absentee Ballots in 2012

Over the past several months, Pew collected data about the 2012 presidential election from nearly every state and the District of Columbia. We used the findings to create a snapshot of each jurisdiction, focusing on how many people voted, how long they waited to cast their ballots, how they cast them, and how many ballots were not counted. These snapshots will be released over the coming months, five at a time, and the Election Data Dispatches will take a closer look at the latest snapshots each week.

2012 Election Snapshot—Utah Voters Increase Their Use of Absentee Ballots in 2012Download PDF

The use of absentee ballots In Utah was considerably higher in the 2012 presidential election than in 2008. In 2012, Utah transmitted 242,393 absentee ballots to voters, a substantial increase from the 130,111 ballots transmitted in 2008. Prior to 2010 only some counties in Utah offered permanent absentee voting, allowing registered voters to request a mail ballot automatically for all future elections. During the 2012 election, however, all voters in the state had the opportunity to register for permanent absentee voting.

  The number of voters in Utah returning absentee ballots in the 2012 presidential election was more than double that of 2008.

  •  In 2012, 187,674 votes were cast by mail, 18 percent of all ballots cast.  
  •  In 2008, 85,887 votes, or 9 percent of all ballots, were cast by mail. 

The increase in the use of absentee ballots was accompanied by a drop in the rejection rate for them. In 2012, Utah rejected 0.8 percent of absentee ballots, down from 1.3 percent in 2008.

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