Summit County Democratic leader projects Pete Buttigieg or Elizabeth Warren will win locally |

Summit County Democratic leader projects Pete Buttigieg or Elizabeth Warren will win locally

A dropbox for ballots in Summit County, Utah.
Jay Hamburger/Park Record

The chair of the Summit County Democratic Party this week projected Pete Buttigieg or Elizabeth Warren will win the county in the Tuesday primary election, when voters in Utah will join the other Super Tuesday contests on one of the most important political days of the year.

Meredith Reed, who leads the county Democrats, said supporters of Buttigieg, who is a former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and Warren, a senator from Massachusetts, have been talking to her about the primary in recent weeks. That is one of the signs that points Reed toward predicting a Buttigieg or Warren win in the county. She has heard little from supporters of former Vice President Joe Biden or Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, she said.

Larger-population counties along the Wasatch Front will overwhelm the vote totals in Summit County, meaning it is likely just a small percentage of the votes in the primary will be cast locally.

Still, though, Reed is pleased Utah voters will cast ballots on such an important day in the contest for the nomination. She said the Super Tuesday voting is important to Democrats in Utah as well as the broader state. She is hoping for up to 70% turnout among Democrats in Summit County on Tuesday.

“We’re happy to have our voices heard,” she said about voting on Super Tuesday.

The primary was shifted to Super Tuesday in an effort to increase the state’s importance to the nominating process. There would have been a chance there would be a presumptive nominee by the time Utahns voted had the primary been held later in the year, as has been the case in previous election cycles.

Summit County Clerk Kent Jones, who will oversee the Democratic and Republican presidential primary elections on Tuesday, said he anticipates better turnout as a result of the Super Tuesday timing. The Democratic primary contest has received much wider publicity than the Republican one, which President Trump is expected to win easily.

“Super Tuesday’s getting a lot of attention,” Jones said.

He added that the large field of Democrats vying for the nomination coupled with the vote-by-mail balloting could lead to a large turnout.

“I’m sure the Democrats are excited to pick a candidate,” said Jones, a Democrat, adding, “I just don’t think there’s a clear favorite.”

The County Clerk’s Office mailed ballots to registered Democratic voters, registered Republican voters and unaffiliated voters who requested a ballot. The Democratic primary is open to anyone who requested a ballot in addition to those registered as Democrats. The GOP primary is open to registered Republicans and unaffiliated voters who register as a Republican on the day of the primary. Unaffiliated voters who did not request a mail-in ballot, or residents who did not receive one for another reason, may vote in person on Tuesday.

Jones said his office mailed more than 16,000 ballots. The slight majority were Democratic ballots, he said.

The postmark deadline for the ballots is Monday. The County Clerk’s Office will operate voting centers from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Tuesday at the Marsac Building, the Richins Building, the Summit County Building in Kamas and the City Hall in Coalville. Voters may cast ballots or drop off ballots at the voting centers on Tuesday. For more information about the balloting, contact the County Clerk’s Office at 615-3204.

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