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Turnout dismal on primary day

Voter turnout in Summit County in the primary election Tuesday was a dismal two percent.

Nobody voted in two election precincts in southern Old Town and the west side of Summit Park, according to unofficial election results from Summit County Clerk Kent Jones.

"It was really slow," Jones said.

Only one person voted in each of the Deer Valley, Prospector, Upton, north Old Town and Sidewinder Drive precincts.

On the east side of Highland Estates and in Moose Hollow two people turned out for the primary race.

But turnout was higher in Woodland and Oakley where contests for seats on the South Summit School Board helped bump it to about 12 percent. School board races are nonpartisan and there was no Democratic ballot in Summit County Tuesday.

Only registered Republicans could vote in the GOP primary race that pitted Mark Walker against Richard Ellis for the state treasurer post.

Ellis trounced Walker by garnering 60 percent of the votes. In heavily Democratic Summit County, 253 of the 420 people who voted in the treasurer race picked Ellis, who will advance to take on Democrat Dick Clark in November.

The campaign became bitter when Ellis demanded that Lt. Gov. Gary Herbert investigate his corruption allegations against Walker. Ellis, who is currently the deputy state treasurer, claimed Walker offered him a raise if he would drop out of the treasurer race. Walker denied any wrongdoing.

Prosecutors in Davis and Weber counties will investigate the accusations against Walker. Typically, the Attorney General’s Office would handle any probe. But Attorney General Mark Shurtleff has endorsed Walker in the primary.

Oakley residents cast the highest number of votes in the treasurer race and 41 of the 80 ballots in the city supported Walker.

Voters registered unaffiliated could sign up as Republicans at the polls and vote in the primary.

Meanwhile, a state lawmaker who sponsored many anti-illegal immigration bills lost his seat Tuesday. Challenger Ryan Wilcox received 61 percent of the votes to defeat Rep. Glenn Donnelson, R-North Ogden.

Friday, Wilcox wasn’t immediately available to comment.

"I support meaningful immigration reform at the state level that ensures enforcement of the law while remaining morally principled and economically viable," Wilcox states on his campaign Web site. "Any solution proffered by the state must, as a matter of conscience, pass this test."

On Capitol Hill, Donnelson sponsored legislation to repeal in-state tuition and revoke driving privilege cards for people without Social Security numbers.

"I don’t think [Donnelson] can be replaced," Utah Minuteman Project Chairman Eli Cawley said in a telephone interview. "Donnelson has been in the trenches and his voice will be sorely missed. He very, very keenly felt, as I do, that the future of civilization is at stake in this battle."

But Donnelson was out of touch with his constituents, immigrant advocate Tony Yapias countered.

"Obviously, by him getting voted out, it means his constituency realized, finally, that this was more a personal agenda and lining up with anti-immigration groups like the Minuteman Project," Yapias said Friday. "I’m very relieved because we won’t have to see his bills anymore."

But the Minuteman Project praised the defeat of incumbent Chris Cannon in the 3rd Congressional District Tuesday.

Challenger Jason Chaffetz defeated Cannon with 60 percent of the vote. Chaffetz often criticized the congressman on immigration.

Unofficial election results for Summit County are available at summitcounty.org. Outstanding absentee and provisional ballots will be tallied at a canvass of the election scheduled July 2 in Coalville.

Associated Press contributed to this report.


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