At deadline, Parkites turn in voter forms
Kale Voll says he sent voter-registration forms to election officials at the Statehouse and the County Courthouse but wanted to make sure his name was on the voter rolls.
So he showed up at City Hall Monday night, a little before the 8 p.m. registration deadline struck, to fill out a form one more time.
"It’s my right as an American. It’s my voice," Voll says as he finishes filling out the form and showing election officials his identification.
Voll, who is 18 years old and a senior at Park City High School, was part of a steady stream of people who visited City Hall on Monday to either register to vote or change information on their registration forms in anticipation of Election Day on Nov. 7.
Cindy LoPiccolo, City Hall’s election official, reports that about 110 people filled out forms at her location on Monday. Summit County Clerk Sue Follett, who oversees elections, says one person registered in Coalville Monday evening. Numbers from South Summit were not immediately available.
Monday’s registration deadline came as people in Summit County enter the final two weeks of the 2006 campaign, with a ballot loaded with candidates and questions that have garnered lots of publicity.
But there are longstanding worries about voter turnout in the county, especially on the West Side, where the turnout numbers are notoriously low.
At City Hall on Monday night, people who were filling out forms were anticipating Election Day and some had decided how they would vote. It is difficult to forecast, however, if the steady stream of people at City Hall is an indicator of interest in the 2006 campaign on the West Side.
LoPiccolo says more people arrived at her office than in 2002, when the elected positions on the ballot were the same they are in 2006.
"If comparing it to a similar election four years ago, it was busier," LoPiccolo says.
She reports, though, that she handled fewer people than in 2004, when the White House was at stake.
There has been widespread publicity this year of the campaign for a seat on the Summit County Commission and a ballot question asking voters if Summit County’s form of government should be replaced. Meanwhile, Park City voters will decide whether to pass a $20 million open-space bond and people in the Snyderville Basin will pass or reject a recreation bond. Voters will choose people to serve in the Statehouse and Congress as well.
"It’s probably even more important to vote for your county leaders, where you actually live," says Voll, the teenager who plans to vote for the first time on Election Day.
He lives in Summit Park, says Park City is growing too fast and supports the fringe Desert Green Party. He plans to vote for Kathy Dopp, the Desert Green candidate for Summit County clerk, whose campaign targets the state’s new touch-screen voting machines.
Scott Barnes, a 28-year-old who lives in Old Town, arrived at City Hall to change the address on his form and says there are lots of issues of interest to him. A former Marine, he says he will consider immigration reform and the Iraqi war when he decides his votes.
"There’s just so much going on . . . ," he says. "As an American, you have the right to vote."
This year will mark the second time Barnes votes, he says, following the 2004 presidential ballot. He says he supports the measure that would change the Summit County government from a three-person County Commission to a five-person county council, saying that Summit County’s growing population warrants an expanded government.
Tim Ward, another person from Old Town, visited City Hall near the deadline to change his registration form since he moved to Park City from Salt Lake City in 2005. He is interested in the potential change in the county’s form of government but is undecided how he will vote.
Ward says he wants voter turnout to spike in Park City, one of the reasons he filled out the paperwork Monday, but admits that traveling to City Hall was not a priority.
"My girlfriend just reminded me," he says. "I live across the street and ran over here."
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