OGDEN — Weber County Democrats came out in force for Tuesday’s presidential primary.
According to preliminary figures from the Weber County Election Office, Democratic turnout in the county totaled about 79%, with 12,303 Democratic ballots cast and 15,576 registered Democrats here.
Such high turnout isn’t totally surprising given the heated race for the Democratic presidential nomination. Statewide and in Weber County, Bernie Sanders scored a solid win, nearly doubling the vote count across Utah of the second-place finisher, Joe Biden, and beating him by a 34.6%-17.4% margin. Michael Bloomberg and Elizabeth Warren followed in third and fourth places, both at the state and county level, according to the preliminary vote totals.
Turnout among Weber County Republicans, meantime, reached around 47%. There are many more Republicans than Democrats in Weber County, and 22,898 cast GOP presidential ballots, with the number of registered GOPers here sitting at 48,834.
With President Donald Trump all but assured the nomination, there isn’t much drama on the GOP side of the primary, and the incumbent garnered 88% support.
The turnout figures are rough estimates since unaffiliated voters and others may have registered as Republicans and cast GOP ballots and GOPers and others most likely cast Democratic ballots.
In-person voting Tuesday in Weber County was held at just one polling place, Union Station, down from six last November, at the five Weber County libraries and the Weber County Fairgrounds.
Because of the change, reps from the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah were on hand to observe balloting, worried some voters might miss out due to the shift. But Ryan Cowley, head of the Weber County Election Office, noted on Wednesday his office’s efforts to get word out about the change ahead of time.
Moreover, election officials had worked with library reps ahead of time to get them to direct voters mistakenly showing up at libraries to vote to Union Station. ACLU volunteers also took up positions outside the libraries to direct voters to Union Station.
Cowley said election officials will be analyzing results from Tuesday’s voting to decide if they stick with just one Election Day, in-person balloting spot in the coming June 30 primary and Nov. 3 general election. They’ll also listen to the ACLU for their input.
Most voters mail in their ballots. Around 3,200 voters cast ballots in person at Union Station on Tuesday, about 9.1% of the 35,201 in all who voted.