Some residents living in Garfield County who were hoping to vote in Tuesday’s elections have not received their mail-in-ballots. Chase Thomas with Alliance for a Better Utah said they were told by the county clerk that shipping complications with mail-in-ballots has forced polls to be open Tuesday for what was supposed to be in mail-in-ballots only election.
“As Utah residents become more accustomed to mail-in ballots, if they do not receive that, if there is something that happens in the system, it’s going to result in a lot more confusion,” Thomas said. “If it was a problem with county officials or was it on the election company that they contracted with to do the service.”
The mix up has become a burden for voters living in the Garfield County communities of Escalante and Panquitch City said Thomas, who worries the confusion could make it difficult from some to participate in their local elections.
“It feels like we’ve been doing it long enough to where the kinks with the system should have been ironed out by now," he said. "Some issues do come up, especially in these counties where there isn’t as much of a professional staff if you have Salt Lake County in their elections office.”
Thomas worries the breakdown in the mail-in ballots process will result in some residents there not being able to vote and is calling on state officials, including the Legislature and the Lt. Governor’s Elections Office, to investigate.
To assist resident hoping to vote for Panquitch and Escalante city council members each city has opened polling locations Tuesday until 8 p.m. Panquitch residents can vote at the Garfield County Courthouse. Polls are open in Escalante at the city office building. Thomas said there could be resident in the county who don’t live in these two cities and have not received their ballot. In that case, he says to contact the Garfield County Clerk Office.