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SLCO Clerk swamped with new voter registrations

SALT LAKE COUNTY – As the midterm elections creep closer, voter interest appears to be sky high in Salt Lake County.  The County Clerk’s office is having a hard time finding enough people to deal with the large number of registrations they still have to process.

Sherrie Swensen has been the Salt Lake County Clerk for nearly three decades and she has never seen this many registrations for a midterm election before.

“As of today, there are 504 thousand overall registered voters in Salt Lake County,” she says.

Normally they process roughly half that for a typical midterm.  Swensen estimates they received at least 20 thousand registrations since mid-September.   Compare that to 2014, when there were just over 5,500 for all of September and October.

They have so many, they’ve asked their employees who normally work on marriages and passports to process voter information.

“We’ve hired extra people and we’re having them work overtime in the evenings and on Saturdays.  It’s a lot of extra work,” Swensen says, adding that the search for qualified workers has been hard.  “We’ve had a hard time finding people with that skill set.”

There are some people who are coming into her office to re-register after moving.  Swensen says that isn’t necessary.

“All they need to do is call the office.  We’ll update their address and we can mail them a ballot.  They don’t need to go through the whole registration process.  We’re seeing a lot of duplicates,” she says.