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Tens of thousands of ballots left to count in Utah County

(Jeffrey D Allred, Deseret News, Nov. 7, 2018)

PROVO – No more election results from Utah County until next Tuesday.  Officials from the Clerk Auditor’s Office say they still have thousands of ballots that still need to be processed. It around 60-thousand that still need to be counted.

Chief Deputy Scott Hogensen says the county’s new vote by mail system will always be slower than the one they used to have.

“We’re not doing the old system with the electronic machines where we have a definitive winner on election night.  Those days are gone and they’re gone, forever,” he says.

Out of those 60 thousand, Hogensen estimates that one out of seven are part of the race between Mia Love and Ben McAdams for the Fourth Congressional District seat.  That adds up to roughly 85 hundred.

Each of those ballots still has to be manually checked by someone in their office to see if the signature matches those that they already have on file.

“A lot of it is a matter of having the ballots scanned into the system, getting signatures checked.  Then, from there, they go to be opened and then they go to be scanned,” he adds.

The county only has two weeks from Election Day to have their votes tallied.  He believes they have enough employees to meet that deadline.

Hogensen says, “Between all of the various functions that we have, we probably have 35 to 40.”

He’s also answering questions about why so many people didn’t get their ballot in the mail.  He insists that he sent out all of the ones they were supposed to, since they used the same system other counties did.

“Things are done very exactingly by VISTA, the statewide voter registration database.  It keeps track of everybody and sends everything out to everybody,” according to Hogensen.