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Wasatch, Utah County Officials Sort Out Special Election Ballot Blunder


Officials from two counties in Utah say they sent Republican ballots in the 3rd Congressional District to unaffiliated voters by mistake, but they will be able to correct the problem.


Wasatch County election officials said they discovered this week about 1,400 ballots were sent to voters of the wrong party in the district.

Only registered Republicans are allowed to vote in the GOP primary contest between Provo Mayor John Curtis, former state lawmaker Chris Herrod and financial consultant Tanner Ainge.

The Wasatch County clerk told media outlets that those voters will be notified that their ballots will not count.

The blunder follows a similar episode in Utah County, where about 70,000 Republican primary ballots were mistakenly sent to unaffiliated voters. County clerk Bryan Thompson estimates it will cost about $20,000 to remedy.

“We have a means in place where as ballots are returned to us, we can sort them by affiliated and unaffiliated based upon the barcoding on the outside of the envelope,” he said. “Then for all those that are unaffiliated voters, their votes will be tabulated on a separate server.”

Wasatch County says their error should only cost around $1,000, including the cost of postage and reprinting some ballots.

Thompson notes that unaffiliated voters who want to vote in the Republican primary can still do so by law, but only on August 15.

“They can bring their ballot down to a vote service center…[and] they can go ahead and surrender that, affiliate as a Republican, and then vote in the Republican primary,” he said.  

The winner of the GOP’s primary will face five other candidates in the general election this November to finish the term of former Congressman Jason Chaffetz, who resigned from office earlier this summer.


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