Sanpete has 92-percent
By Rhett Wilkinson
MANTI—Despite issues created by a contracting company that printed its ballots, Sanpete County saw a 91.5 percent turnout in the general election. That was higher than the 88.7 percent turnout in the last presidential election.
Turnout in the non-presidential election years of 2014 and 2018 was 52.1 percent and 78.7 percent, respectively.
“It should be on the record that we had a 92 percent turnout,” Sanpete County Commissioner Scott Bartholomew said in the commission meeting where Sanpete County Clerk Sandy Neill’s 2020 general election canvass was accepted. “[Neill] did an excellent job and [she] should be commended for that.”
“The way Sandy handled that election and all those votes, I’m amazed,” Commissioner Steve Lund said.
Neill knows a lot of people were worried about votes not being counted, but in the general election, only 114 ballots out of 12,824 didn’t count for a variety of reasons. That was just under one out of 1,000 ballots. That was a few more than during the primary, when far fewer total votes were cast.
Normally, an increase wouldn’t be worth celebrating, but this election, the clerk’s office had to deal with a signature-line issue on ballots as a result of a printing error.
Steve Clark, Sanpete County Republican party chairman, said, “If anything, the obstacles probably raised the awareness of people on the ballot issue.”
“It caused us as a party and other parties to get extra contacts out with our people and make sure the message was spread about how to” get out the vote, Clark said.
Sanpete County Deputy Clerk Patricia Clark said many people called into the clerk’s office, asking where to sign.
“We told them where to sign—the way they’re supposed to,” she said.
Clark also noted that a lot of folks with provisional ballots, mostly college students, came into the office.
With those difficulties, administering the election “got a little rough sometimes, but we got through it,” she said. “I think it turned out great considering the signature line problem.”