Vote-by-mail election yields strong voter turnout

Vote-by-mail election yields strong voter turnout
Posted on 09/20/2013

Though primary elections are typically not well attended, this year’s District Three City council primary election saw a voter turnout of nearly 30 percent of registered voters in that district. The number is twice the turnout of the last municipal primary election, and city leaders believe the increase is due to the city’s choice to run the election mainly by mail.

Cottonwood Heights decided to be a test case for the Salt Lake County Clerk’s vote-by-mail program this year. For the primary election in District Three, all registered voters in that district were mailed a ballot a month in advance of the election in order to allow them time to research the candidates before marking their ballots and mailing them back to the county clerk’s office.

Though the average turnout for Salt Lake County primaries was only 15.6 percent, the turnout in Cottonwood Heights was 29.4 percent. It’s a trend which city leaders hope will continue for the general election in November.

So what should voters expect during the general election? Ballots will be mailed to all registered voters in the city during the first week of October to decide the offices of Mayor, District Three Councilperson and District Four Councilperson. Though all Cottonwood Heights residents will be able to cast their vote for the office of Mayor, only the residents in the respective districts will decide the race for District Three and District Four Councilperson.

Completed ballots can be mailed back to the county clerk but must be postmarked the day before Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 5. Ballots can also be dropped off at the city offices or the county clerk’s office anytime until 8 p.m. on Election Day. Though traditional polling locations won’t be open on Election Day because of the vote-by-mail process, one polling center will be open the day of the election at the city offices, located at 1265 E. Fort Union Blvd. Anyone who chooses to vote in person at the polling center must surrender their vote-by-mail ballot at the poll.

More information about vote-by-mail and this year’s candidate biographies can be found on the city website under the Public Records --> Elections tab. Questions can also be directed to the city recorder at 801-944-7020 or the county clerk’s office at 385-468-7400.

District Three Primary Election Results

Mike Peterson:  758 votes (52.46%)
Nicole Omer: 431 votes (29.83%)
Ben A. Derrick: 256 votes (17.72%)

Total registered voters in District Three: 4,923
Total Ballots Counted: 1,450

General Election Candidates


Kelvyn H. Cullimore, Jr.
Peyton H. Robinson

District Three Councilperson

Mike Peterson
Nicole Omer

District Four Councilperson

Tee W. Tyler