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PM News Brief: Election Day Transportation, Summit County Clerk’s Office & COVID-19 Hospitalizations

A photo of a UTA train stop.
Brian Albers
/
KUER
The Utah Transit Authority said it will offer free fares to riders on Election Day. This story and more in Monday evening's news brief.

Monday evening, November 2, 2020

State

Mental Health Concerns During Election Time

This year has been a stressful one for many people. And with a contentious election cycle, the election and its aftermath are shaping up to be stressful as well. One of the best ways people can cope with any negative emotions that may arise is to reach out to others they know and trust. It’s also important to make time for activities that help people relax, like reading, exercising or meditating. As for talking to people with different political views, it all comes down to one word: respect. Read the full story.Jon Reed

Utahns More Politically Divided, But Agree On Education As A Priority

In the time since the last presidential election, Republicans and Democrats in Utah have become more ideologically divided. That’s according to a new report from the Utah Foundation. The report found, through a survey, that Republicans in Utah are just about as conservative as they were in 2016 but Democrats in the state have become more liberal. But, at the same time, Republicans make up more than half of registered Utah voters, so the political landscape hasn’t drastically shifted. The report also found that while Republicans and Democrats in Utah prioritized different issues, they do agree that K-12 education and housing affordability should be top priorities. Read the full story.Sonja Hutson

COVID-19 Update: 1,196 Cases Announced

Utah health officials reported 1,196 new cases of COVID-19 Monday. According to the Utah Department of Health, 348 people are hospitalized with the disease — a new record for the state. There are also 138 people with the disease in Intensive Care Units, also a new high. Officials reported no new deaths but the week long positivity rate is now 19%. — Caroline Ballard

Follow KUER’s coverage of the coronavirus in Utah.

Looking To Get The Polls On Election Day?

The Utah Transit Authority said it will offer free fares to riders on Election Day. That includes all public transportation like buses, light rail, paratransit and Via microtransit. Face coverings are required. Ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft are also providing discounted rides to the polls, with up to 50% off car and scooter services. — Caroline Ballard

Northern Utah

Summit County Clerk’s Office Forced To Quarantine

The Summit County’s clerk office has been forced to quarantine until Friday due to exposure to COVID-19. That’s according to a Facebook post by the county. Even though the office will be closed, election volunteers will still collect all ballots sent through the mail or deposited in drop boxes. The county said it’ll count ballots after receiving clearance from health officials to return to the office. According to the post, Summit County had already received nearly 18,000 ballots by last Friday and those results will be posted Tuesday night. The county will have all votes counted by Nov. 17— two weeks after the election. — Ross Terrell

Park City Teachers Form New Union

Teachers in Park City have organized a new local union chapter of the American Federation of Teachers. Park City Education Association already exists in the school district, but representatives of the new union say they formed because teacher’s concerns surrounding COVID-19 are not being addressed. The AFT union is asking for more transparency in reported cases at schools, a better plan for different types of learning and more time in the day to handle their increased workload. Union officials also said they are not looking to shut down schools or the economy but to have better safeguards in place. — Ross Terrell

Region/Nation

Races To Watch Out For In The Mountain West

Election day is right around the corner and there are several races and states to keep an eye on in our region. Colorado’s Senate race started out close, but has been leaning Democrat. That leaves the Senate and House races in Montana as some of the closest in the region. Looking further South, Nevada is technically a swing state for the presidential election. However, it’s also been leaning blue. Political science experts believe the only way for Nevada’s presidential race to go red is for Trump to start over-performing nationwide, starting in states like South Carolina and Florida and that could signal more Republican wins in the region overall. — Madelyn Beck, Mountain West News Bureau