Record editorial: Lesson of Park City’s primary election is ‘Your vote counts’
It was expected the Park City Council ballot for the November election would be determined on Aug. 13, the date of the primary election.
Now, nearly two weeks later, the final slot on the six-person ballot remains to be decided. Two candidates, Chadwick Fairbanks III and Daniel Lewis, are within two votes of each other with Fairbanks III with the narrow lead. The canvass is scheduled on Tuesday, and the other candidates appear to have already secured the votes need to advance to November.
The margin between Fairbanks III and Lewis as the canvass nears makes it possible that the final number will fall into the range that would allow a candidate to request a recount.
The lesson of the primary election, regardless of which candidate advances, is the critical importance of each and every vote in a City Hall election. The campaign season has thus far been staid, certainly lacking the political fireworks that marked municipal elections of the past.
That was apparent in the primary, when 24.6% of the registered voters cast ballots, according to the preliminary numbers. Just 1,443 or so Park City voters, then, will decide the names on the ballot in November. There were nearly 5,900 registered voters in Park City on the day of the primary, meaning three out of every four people who could have voted chose not to do so.
And that leads to a discussion about two votes separating Fairbanks III and Lewis. Fairbanks III is a relatively recent arrival to Park City whose status as a contender for the November ballot is likely a surprise to many voters given his embrace of far-right ideologies that typically do not resonate in left-leaning Park City. Lewis, meanwhile, is a staunch supporter of the City Hall agenda. There is a political chasm between them even though there is just a two-vote gap separating them.
It seems it will be difficult for either of them to capture a City Council seat in November, as they trailed the upper tier by hundreds of votes in the primary. But the lesson of the narrow margin between them in the primary should not be lost on the electorate once November arrives: Your vote counts.
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