Early voting in June 26 primary begins today

Published: Tuesday, June 12 2012 1:09 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — Early voting in the June 26 primary election began today and will continue through June 22.

Republicans will choose their party's nominee in several key races, including for the U.S. Senate, state attorney general and state auditor. Democrats also have several primary races throughout the state, including in the 1st Congressional District.

This year, the primary ballot also includes the 2012 presidential candidates. Four years ago, Utahns went to the polls on Super Tuesday in February to vote in a separate presidential primary.

State Elections Director Mark Thomas said having Mitt Romney, the GOP's presumptive nominee, on the ballot should help boost turnout. Utah is the final state in the nation to hold a presidential primary.

"It's going to be amped up for sure this time. In the past, you could get 10 to 12 percent if you're lucky," Thomas said. "This go round, I would think it's going to be probably in the 25 percent range."

Of those who'll vote in this election as many as 40 percent are expected to cast early ballots, Thomas said.  Anyone can vote in the Democratic primary, but only Republicans or unaffiliated voters who change their political affiliation at the polls can vote in the GOP primary.

Voters can go to vote.utah.gov for information on the polling places that are open for early voting as well as see sample party ballots. Absentee ballots can also be requested online or by mail.

E-mail: lisa@desnews.com Twitter: dnewspolitics

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