A total of 310 state and federal candidates met Thursday night’s filing deadline in Utah ahead of caucuses Tuesday.
Justin Lee is Deputy Director of Elections for Utah. He says activity in their office is expected to be slower now until the primary election in June.
“We’ve been obviously pretty busy getting all the statewide, the federal candidates coming into our office and declaring their candidacy,” says Lee.
He says adding to the workload at the Lieutenant Governor’s office is the responsibility of simultaneously verifying the signatures for candidates who had previously declared their intent to gather signatures before the primary. Lee says it’s too early to tell whether the new signature-gathering element of Utah elections is having the desired effect.
“There is definitely some voter engagement taking place,' says Lee, "you know, with the candidates being out there.”
Democratic candidates added 90 to the total 310 in the primarily Republican-dominated state. Peter Corroon is the state Democratic Party Chair. He says the most outstanding feature of their field of candidates is the variety.
“More than half our candidates are women;" says Corroon, "young democrats, minorities, LGBT; they come from a variety of businesses.”
Corroon encouraged all residents to register to vote, particularly 17-year-olds who will be 18 by the general election in November. There are five declared political parties in Utah. Information about times and locations of Tuesday’s caucuses is at Caucus.Utah.Gov.