Utah poll workers aim to get election ballots counted ahead of Thanksgiving
Nov 21, 2023, 1:22 PM | Updated: 5:16 pm
(Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News)
SALT LAKE CITY — The special election to replace former Rep. Chris Stewart has Utah poll workers in a unique spot. They’re trying to get all the ballots counted in time to be with their families for Thanksgiving.
Salt Lake County Clerk Lannie Chapman said poll workers have been working long hours for the past week or so with hopes they can be home in time for turkey.
Chapman said workers have had days where they’ve worked from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. But Tuesday is going to look more like 7 a.m. to midnight.
Whether they have to work on Thanksgiving really depends on how many ballots come in.
Chapman said if they get 100,000-plus last-minute mail-in ballots like last year, “We will not be able to get caught up before Thanksgiving.”
However, Chapman said voter turnout in Salt Lake County last year was 65% and they only expect about 35% turnout this year.
Another plus for poll workers is mail-in ballots. Poll workers have already counted those that voters mailed in.
But however many voters show up today, Chapman said they’re willing to step up if the counting takes longer.
“They said, ‘You know what? This is so important. It is so critical to make sure people’s voices are counted and heard in their community.’ That they’ve just continued to step up, I’m in awe.”
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