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Concerns Raised Over Late Vote-By-Mail Ballots

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Vince Wickwar, Chair of the Cache County Democratic Party, began having questions after hearing that some voters had yet to receive ballots. Only a few days remained until the Democratic Senate primary election.

“I really didn’t hear anything until this weekend when a lot of people started receiving ballots on Saturday, and having to turn those in on Monday or go and vote in person on Tuesday,” Wickwar said. “I put out an email Saturday as I was starting to hear about this from a few people. First email came back 10 minutes after I sent mine out, saying, ‘What’s going on? I just got my ballot.’”

Voters were to receive ballots around June 7. Wickwar said that, while he is not accusing anyone of unethical behavior, safeguards in the vote-by-mail process need to be established.

“Historically, there’ve been the people who would help you do the voting and there’s normally been two poll-watchers, one from each party, to make sure that everything is above board. It prevents any problems or accusations afterwards and was a significant part of the voting process,” he said. “With the vote-by-mail we have none of that. It’s a new thing. We don’t have it now but let’s institute something. No one’s implying that anything bad is happening but one wants to make sure that nothing ever does.”

By Friday morning, 23.2 percent of Republican voters had mailed in their ballots. Wickwar said that percentages for Democratic voters and the unaffiliated are not even comparable.  

“Contrast that with the unaffiliated voters. That represented less than two percent of the unaffiliated. For some reason, they were not voting and you would expect those percentages to be roughly comparable,” he said. “If we look at the numbers, you come up with 10 percent of the total votes went to Democrats, whereas, depending on the election here, if we have a Democratic candidate who does very well, it’s normally 40 percent of the vote. If we have one that doesn’t do at all well, it’s 20 percent. So, this is a number less than half of that.”

A source with the Utah Democratic Party says that state Chair Peter Corroon has met with Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox regarding unaffiliated voters. The Cache County Clerk’s Office could not be immediately reached for comment.