ELECTIONS

Special election convention dates for US House vacancy

Jun 16, 2023, 1:36 PM

A ballot is pictured. The GOP primary election day is June 28, 2022....

Special election dates Photo: George Frey/Getty Images.

SALT LAKE CITY — The special election for the seat being vacated Sept. 15 by Rep. Chris Stewart is underway. Here are the important days to know to participate.

This week, the special legislative session passed a bill uniting the municipal election with the special election in Stewart’s second congressional district (CD2). Both primaries will be Sept. 5. The municipal general election and the special general election for the U.S. House seat will be Nov. 21.

KSL at Night spoke with both the Utah Republican and Democratic parties to find out how they are preparing and the dates voters need to be aware of.

Republican dates to know

Out of the 22 candidates who have filed to run, 13 identify with the Republican Party.

“It definitely becomes more complex from a logistics perspective,” Robert Axson, chairman of the Utah Republican Party, told KSL Newsradio.

All 13 candidates will follow the convention path, but a few candidates have also opted to do the signature route.

“I firmly believe that the party benefits from our delegates and that process,” said Axson.

The Republican party will hold its convention June 24 at Delta High School in Delta

Since this convention is only for District 2 members, the only item on the agenda will be choosing the Republican candidate to go to the primaries.

Unlike other years, the convention winner will not be chosen using rank-choice voting. According to Axson, “It will be done with speeches, and then a round of voting. Folks at the lower end of the vote tally will be taken off, and we will go to a second round of speeches and balloting.”

Axson said with 13 candidates, it will probably take four-to-six rounds before a final winner is chosen.

The winner of the convention could still face a challenger in the primary. Candidates who also chose the signature path must submit the 7,000 signatures to qualify for the primary election by July 5.

Democratic dates to know

Utah Democrats have only three candidates to contend for Stewart’s seat.

Ben Anderson, director of communications for the Utah Democrat Party, told KSL NewsRadio none of the three candidates have chosen the signature path. They will face off at the Democratic convention.

Utah Democrats will hold their convention virtually June 28.

Anderson says Democrats chose to hold this special convention virtually to ensure most of their 600 delegates could make it without making them drive long distances to vote.

Although candidates won’t have a debate during the convention, they will be able to contact delegates before the convention.

How the clerks are handling the election

The dates for the municipal and special elections are happening around federal holidays, which could make it harder for the county clerks to field enough poll workers.

“It’s going to be a little tricky to recruit co-workers and to be competing with the big box retail stores.” said Niki Venugopal, chief deputy of Salt Lake County Clerk. 

Venugopal expects more people to turn out in this odd-year election due to the special election.

Volunteers need to meet certain requirements to volunteer, including being over 18 and not being related to a candidate. Spanish-speaking volunteers are also encouraged to apply. 

For more information, you can visit www.slco.vote.

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Special election convention dates for US House vacancy