POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

Lt. Gov. Henderson says a delay in election results is possible

Nov 7, 2022, 6:36 PM | Updated: Mar 28, 2023, 5:49 pm

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Voter drops off ballot on the 2021 Municipal election day. Photo: Mengshin Lin, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY —  There could be a delay in election results depending on the length of voting lines, according to the Office of Lieutenant Governor Deidre M. Henderson.

Utah’s 29 county clerks have been instructed to withhold posting election results until they all confirm their polling places have closed, according to a press release. This is so all voters in line by 8 p.m. can cast their ballots. If there are long lines at polling places, the lieutenant’s office says a delay is more likely.

“While I’m hopeful early election results will go live shortly after polls close at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, this guidance may impact the release timeline for results in Utah,” Lt. Gov. Henderson said in a press release. “Eligible voters deserve the opportunity to cast their ballots without outside influence, including data from preliminary results.”

Election results and voting lines

Ryan Cowley with the lieutenant’s office, says multiple factors will play into the length of voting lines.

“We did have a couple of counties that had some issues getting ballots out. Those have been delayed, so they’ve been doing a lot more in-person voting,” Cowley said. “It could just be turn out, or interest overall is lower, or maybe that’s an indicator that some more people will come and vote in person on Election Day. We just don’t know, so we just wanted to be a little bit more proactive rather than waiting until the last minute.”

Cowley said that any voter who is in line by 8 p.m. will have the right to vote.

“If the line is five hours, they get to vote. If the line is five minutes, they get to vote,” he said. “[8 p.m.] really is the cut-off point.”

Despite a possible delay, Cowley said that results are still expected to come out on Tuesday. They could be released at 8:05 p.m. or 9:30 p.m.

“Honestly, we just won’t know until we get further into the night tomorrow night, and then we’ll have a better sense of what we’re looking at,” he said.

Counties will upload preliminary results to electionresults.utah.gov.

Lindsay Aerts contributed to this article.

Related: Law enforcement ratchets up presence in voting process as some sheriffs push election conspiracy theories

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Lt. Gov. Henderson says a delay in election results is possible