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Filing issue leads to past, present Cache County officials pointing fingers

The Historic Cache County Courthouse, a red brick building, under a blue sky.

Last month, six candidates running for office in Cache County filed their candidacy paperwork thinking they had signed up to run for the correct seats, only to find that wasn’t the case.

Four candidates running for Logan City School Board and two candidates running for seats on the Cache Water District Board had mistakenly signed up to run for seats in districts where they do not live, which would make them ineligible for those positions. The voting map for the water district board was last updated in December 2021, and the school board map was most recently updated in January 2022.

Shana Longhurst, communications director for the Logan City School District, explained one aspect that caused some confusion.

“A few years ago, the Logan City School District, in combination with the city and the county, made some small adjustments to the precinct maps for the areas set up for the Logan City School District School Board," Longhurst said. "Within those changes, which was approved by all entities, we did not change the legend on our map that was listed on the Logan city school district website. And it wasn't labeled on that map.”

Nathan Daugs, manager of the Cache Water District, said the two candidates running for the water district board had signed up for the wrong races and simply needed to switch districts.

“So those two are actually in the other district that the other one signed up for, and so the County Clerk's Office notified them that they had signed up for the wrong district," Daugs said. "They just needed to file some paperwork and work with the county to get that corrected.”

In addition to Logan City School District’s mislabeled map, Cache County Clerk/Auditor David Benson said in an email to Utah Public Radio the candidate registration issues happened because, “the clerk at the time failed to update the information within our elections database.”

However, the county’s former clerk/auditor, Jess Bradfield, disputes that claim.

He told Utah Public Radio in a text message that while he was clerk, he successfully ran elections in the fall of 2022 for positions on both the water district and city school boards with the current maps.

Bradfield said in the message, “No one filed incorrectly, and we didn't rely on inaccurate websites for information. We used the actual ordinances and resolutions for guidance. As the keeper of all county records, the clerk should not rely on others for county information, others rely on the clerk.”

In his email to UPR, Benson explained candidates simply needed to re-file their candidacy paperwork to remedy the issue.

As of Thursday, all six candidates at issue had successfully refiled their paperwork and are still eligible to run for office.

Reporter Jacob Scholl covers northern Utah as part of a newly-created partnership between The Salt Lake Tribune and Utah Public Radio. Scholl writes for The Tribune and appears on-air for UPR.