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Trib fails arithmetic

Published November 17, 2012 1:01 am
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

I'm confused by the math in Chris Smart's "Utah voters turned out in large numbers" (Tribune, Nov. 7). He reported that "the Lt. Governor's Office had counted 1,513,241 ballots, or about 71 percent of the 1,284,170 active registered voters — those who have voted in the past few elections."

But 1.5 million is 117 percent of 1.2 million. Looks like someone's been stuffing the ballot box.

Regardless, even though Utah's government calculates turnout as a percentage of "active registered voters" (to boost its sagging numbers), the national standard for comparison is to calculate turnout as a percentage of total eligible voters over 18, registered or not.

So why is The Tribune giving us only Utah's phony number that isn't comparable to the oft-reported number in The Trib that only a third of eligible Utahns turned out in past elections?

Utah has about 1,938,000 adults over 18; 1.5 million voters is 78 percent, an unbelievably high statistic, given our dismal voting record.

Smart needs to recheck his math, or, more likely, the government of Utah's numbers.

And, please, give us statistics we can use to compare to other states. I'm tired of living in Utah's rosy bubble.

Peter Jenkins

Salt Lake City




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