Voters in Summit County register for the first time | ParkRecord.com

Voters in Summit County register for the first time

Patrick Parkinson, Of the Record staff

Nearly 3,300 people have registered to vote in Summit County since President George W. Bush narrowly defeated Sen. John Kerry for the presidency in 2004.

And more than a thousand new voters have registered in the county since the primary election last June, according to Summit County Clerk Kent Jones.

Today Summit County has about 27,255 registered voters and 70 percent could go to the polls Nov. 4.

"I’m guessing it will be 70 percent," Jones said. "That’s just a pretty good estimate."

A review of voting records showed the size of several voting precincts in Summit County ballooned since a dismal two percent of registered voters in the area went to the polls in June. Smatterings of precincts have grown in size from Deer Valley and the Snyderville Basin into Oakley and Henefer.

Parkite Paula Altschuler said she registered to vote in Summit County for the first time almost three months ago.

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"I feel it’s extremely important and I think it’s a right that every American citizen has and should use," Altschuler said in a telephone interview Friday. "Most people feel it is one of the most important elections in history and I’m very passionate about who I am voting for."

Altschuler, who moved to Utah from New York City almost three years ago, said she is a Democrat who will vote for Sen. Barack Obama.

"Park City is a very blue dot in a very red state," Altschuler explained.

But registered Republicans also increased in numbers in Summit County since June when the GOP officially had about 6,674 members.

There are more than 6,845 registered Republicans in Summit County today compared with only 3,579 registered Democrats.

Nearly 16,200 voters in Summit County do not affiliate themselves with a political party and more than 650 are something other than a Republican or Democrat.

"I’m kind of annoyed at both of our national candidates right now so I’m trying to stay focused locally," said Parkite Katie Kepsel, another first-time Summit County voter. "I really like getting to know the candidates and it’s nice in a small town where you can see people in action and see what they have really done."

Kepsel said she registered to vote this year after moving to Park City from Heber.

"I was really interested in registering because I felt like I could make a difference on the local level even if we feel like we can’t on the national level," Kepsel said. "This is the first time I’ve gotten out my voter information pamphlet and read about the candidates."

Park City resident Cathy Clark registered to vote this month just in time for the deadline. Incomplete paperwork derailed her attempt to register in Utah in 2004.

"I’ve always voted until I moved here and had the incomplete registration," Clark said Friday. "It’s the importance of the election — that’s why I took the effort to go to Coalville to register."

Voters who registered by Oct. 6 can cast ballots next week Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The locations include the Summit County Courthouse, 60 N. Main in Coalville, Park City Library and Education Center room 207 at 1255 Park Avenue, Kamas City Hall at 170 N. Main Street and the Sheldon Richins Building at 6505 Landmark Drive at Kimball Junction.

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