There was just scattered turnout during the first days of the early voting period in the City Hall election.
With Election Day more than a week away, though, it is far too soon to handicap what sort of turnout there will be in Park City by the time the polls close on the night of Nov. 5.
City Hall's election official, Sharon Bauman, reported Friday morning that 77 people had cast ballots in the first two days they were able to vote early. There were few people milling about the early voting location at several points on Wednesday and Thursday. There are 5,412 registered voters in Park City.
Park City voters are choosing a new mayor and electing two people to serve on the City Council. The mayoral campaign pits City Councilman Andy Beerman against Jack Thomas, a member of the Park City Planning Commission. There are four people on the City Council ballot: incumbent Alex Butwinski, incumbent Cindy Matsumoto and challengers Mary Wintzer and Tim Henney.
The politicking has been largely mild mannered since the summer filing window when the candidates formalized their campaigns. There was not a primary election in the mayoral campaign and sparse turnout in the City Council primary.
It seems probable that turnout on Election Day will spike from the primary since the mayor's office will be on the ballot. The August scheduling of the primary could have also depressed turnout as Parkites may have been on vacation or not fully engaged in politics at that time.
Still, though, the numbers on Election Day might not be stellar. Neither the mayoral campaign nor the City Council contest has seemed to captivate voters this year as elections have in the past. There has been a series of candidate events, including a well-attended one this week at the Egyptian Theatre, but there have been few political fireworks. Yard signs supporting candidates have been seen in the neighborhoods, as is typical.
In this year's primary, held Aug. 13, turnout was a weak 10.6 percent. As few as 215 votes advanced a City Council candidate to Election Day. There were six candidates on the City Council ballot. Two of them -- Lisa Wilson and Bill McKenna -- were seen as long shots during the primary season and finished far behind the four who advanced.
Four years ago, when the same three positions were on the ballot, the candidates engaged each other in a testy campaign that harkened back to the pre-2002 Winter Olympics era of tough political seasons in Park City. The recession and the Treasure development proposal were two of the critical issues that year. The top of the ticket in 2009 -- incumbent Mayor Dana Williams versus his predecessor in the mayor's office, Brad Olch -- drove much of the interest.
But even with the politicking in 2009, turnout did not reach 40 percent on Election Day. Just 37 percent of Park City's registered voters cast a ballot. Williams won in a landslide while three of the four City Council candidates were tightly grouped. Butwinski and Matsumoto captured the two City Council seats that year.
The early voting period runs on weekdays until Nov. 1. Someone must have been registered to vote by Oct. 7 to cast a ballot in the early voting period.
The early voting hours run from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Marsac Building. There will be extended hours on Nov. 1, when voting will be available from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Voters must present a valid form of government-issued identification, such as a driver license, a passport or a military identification card. Someone without an acceptable form of identification, they must provide two alternate forms from an approved list. The list includes a current utility bill, a bank or financial statement, a Social Security card, a paycheck from the person's employer, a United States military identification card and a certified naturalization document.