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Salt Lake County Clerk Still Counting Votes in SLC Mayoral Race

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Brian Grimmett
Vote by mail ballots wait to be counted at the Salt Lake County building

Neither Jackie Biskupski nor Ralph Becker have declared victory or conceded defeat in the Salt Lake City Mayoral race. That means voters won’t know who the new mayor is until Salt Lake County finishes their final and official canvass on November 17th.

Unofficial election night results show Jackie Biskupski with a 1,450 vote lead. Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swenson says while the unofficial results include the majority of votes cast, her staff are still in the process of counting and verifying almost 24 thousand ballots, although how many of those specifically apply to the mayoral race is still unknown.

“A lot of voters waited to send their ballots in," she says. "We received 20 thousand ballots in the mail yesterday and all of those have to be processed. We got a lot of those into election night results, but we still had some that we couldn’t get verified and included in last night’s results.”

That means in close races such as Salt Lake City Mayor and Proposition 1 the unofficial results could still change. Meanwhile, Swensen says this year’s election saw record high voter participation. She contributes the increase largely to the move to vote by mail.

“In 2007 in Salt Lake City there was the school voucher election along with the hotly contested mayor’s race and the turnout overall was 45%," she says. "We will have exceeded that definitely.”

While Swensen’s staff will continue to count the votes, they won’t be able to give incremental updates. Utah state law says they can only give another update when they deliver the official canvas on November 17th. Lt. Governor Spencer Cox, who oversees elections for the state, says he’s trying to change that. But until then, Salt Lake City voters will just have to wait for the final results. 

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