POLITICS

New county clerk to tackle election woes in Utah County

Dec 8, 2018, 9:27 AM | Updated: 9:42 am
New county Clerk Amelia Powers (Twitter)
(Twitter)

PROVO, Utah (AP) — The incoming county clerk in Utah County used to work for a major construction machinery company helping companies increase sales and efficiencies.
Now, Amelia Powers will be tasked with figuring out to run efficient elections in a county that Gov. Gary Herbert called out last month as “the epicenter of dysfunction” for Election Day problems.

The Daily Herald reports that Powers says she’s already been consulting with multiple industry experts to devise a plan to make elections run more smoothly. Her plan includes buying more voting and ballot counting machines and hiring an elections director.

Powers, 36, defeated the current county clerk, Bryan Thompson, at last April’s Utah Republican Party Convention and easily defeated a third-party candidate in the general election. She’ll take over in January.

She said she has already determined the county does not have enough voting machines or vote counting machines to handle its growing population.

The county needs 250 voting machines to be ready for the 2020 presidential election, and only has 90, Powers said. It needs four vote counting machines that can scan 300 ballots per minute. Currently, the county has three scanners that count 100 ballots per minute.

“It just took a long time, and it took a long time because we don’t have the ability to service the population that we have,” Powers said.

Finding funds to get the additional equipment won’t be easy, though. Powers said she’ll need about $2.5 million to be ready for the 2020 presidential election. She says she’s already found $1 million in possible grant funding the county can apply for.

“This office is truly underfunded and it’s one necessary to serve citizens in the elections arena,” Powers said.
Powers said she also plans to restore the position of elections director, a job eliminated from the office years ago.

“We have disorganized elections and eliminated a position that counties half our size have,” Powers said. “That’s going to be probably my number one ask.”

Powers worked more than 10 years for the Caterpillar Inc. construction machinery company, where part of her job is to help companies be more efficient. After that, she opened her open business consulting business. She’s a native of Provo. She and her husband have two sons.

She is the first female county clerk in Utah County since at least 1995. She didn’t initially plan to run for the position, but after she called around to recruit someone she realized no one was interested and signed herself up.

She’ll be under scrutiny considering recent election problems in the county. In the 2017 primary, the county sent the wrong ballots to 68,000 voters.

The day after the Nov. 6 election, Hebert said the voting public “deserves better.”

“Year after year, we see lots of complaints and long lines coming out of Utah County,” Herbert said. “It shows a lack of leadership, a lack of understanding, and a lack of competence on the part of the county. I hope they can finally figure this out, and I hope we don’t have this problem two years from now.”

Today’s Top Stories

Politics

Jeff Gray is pictured. Photo credit: Jeff Gray Campaign Facebook page....
Lindsay Aerts and Samantha Herrera

Jeff Gray to bring back death penalty after becoming presumptive next Utah County Attorney

In the race for Utah County Attorney, prosecutor Jeff Gray beat incumbent David Leavitt and is expected to take office in January.
7 days ago
A voter drops a ballot into a box at the Salt Lake County Government Center in Salt Lake City on Mo...
Becky Bruce

The Utah primary election is expected to be ‘pretty normal’

Tuesday's primary election in Utah is expected to be about average for a midterm election.
9 days ago
A voter fills in the ballot on the voting machine during the Election Day voting at Vivint Smart Ho...
Lindsay Aerts

State elections leaders dismiss state lawmakers claims of vote switching

WASATCH COUNTY, Utah — The State Elections Office says all of the state’s voting machines are working correctly ahead of Primary Election Day Tuesday. This comes after Rep. Phil Lyman, R-Blanding, made claims on social media, that some of the machines were changing people’s votes. Screenshot of Lyman’s social media post. Lyman posted on Facebook […]
9 days ago
A crowd gathers in front of the Utah State Capitol on Friday, June 24, 2022, to protest the U.S. Su...
Waverly Golden

Planned Parenthood of Utah files lawsuit against the state

Utah's Trigger Law saw its first challenge on Saturday as Planned Parenthood of Utah filed a lawsuit to block the law that went into effect Friday evening.
10 days ago
marriage Utah Sen. Derek Kitchen firearm codify...
Mark Jones

With Roe v. Wade now overturned, could same-sex marriage be next?

Many people are wondering what precedents the U.S. Supreme Court will rule on next, possibly same-sex marriage. Utah Sen. Derek Kitchen says the court could do so it wishes.
12 days ago
A crowd gathers in front of the Utah State Capitol on Friday, June 24, 2022, to protest the U.S. Su...
Mark Jones

S.B. 174 now in effect in Utah with Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v. Wade

With the overturn of Roe v. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Utah trigger law, known as S.B. 174 is now in effect in the state.
12 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
New county clerk to tackle election woes in Utah County