Election day has past and we are still waiting for the final numbers to confirm results. This election has illustrated the power of a single vote as well as the impact that controversial issues can have on voter turnout.
Voter turnout was historic with long lines reported across the state. On social media, people commented on waits ranging from an hour to four hours. The images below from #VoteGehrke’s Twitter account show the line to vote in Provo at 10:20 pm after polls had closed.
Power of a Single Vote
The power of a single vote was made evident in Orem with Proposition 5. Proposition 5 requested that a parcel of land located adjacent to Utah Valley University and across the street from Lakeridge Junior High be rezoned to allow for the building of high-density housing for students. The image below taken from UVU’s statement on the proposition shows the proposed project site.
At the end of the day on November 6, 2018, the preliminary vote was split almost 50/50 with 7,138 in favor of re-zoning to allow student housing and 7,137 against the rezoning. People who may have questioned the impact that one vote can have on an election are seeing how one vote can change everything.
Big Issues on the Ballot
A contributing factor to the large voter turnout was the controversial items on the ballot. Medical marijuana (Proposition 2) was a hot topic that was discussed a great deal. Although the final count is not available yet, It appears that medical marijuana received enough of the vote to pass. Medicaid expansion (Proposition 1) also seems to have the majority of the vote.
Other issues like redistricting (Proposition 4) are still too close to call (50.4% for and 49.5% against). Proposition 1 for Gas Tax Increase for Schools and Roads appears to have not passed.
The only election that is being called at this moment is the U.S. Senate seat with Mitt Romney sitting at 62%. The other issues and offices are still too close to call. The race between Mia Love and Ben McAdams is still too close to call.
Overall, voter turnout was relatively high. Numbers show that over 760,000 mail-in ballots were received which means that over 50% of the population of Utah cast votes this election. In addition to the mail-in ballots, Utahns across the state braved lines to cast their ballots the old-fashioned way.