WASHINGTON D.C. – He still doesn’t have the job, yet, but, Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams is at the nation’s capitol learning about his new possible job as the Fourth District Representative. He does this as he waits for county clerks to determine how many unprocessed ballots there are.
The race keeps getting closer. As of 5 p.m. Tuesday night, McAdams was ahead of his opponent, incumbent Mia Love, by 1,229 votes. McAdams campaign manager, Andrew Roberts, says they’re not celebrating a victory before they technically have it. However, he says this is the time when newly elected representatives have orientation, and if McAdams wins, there is a lot he’s going to have to learn.
“They walk you through the financial aspects of that. Every member gets an allowance and they walk you through how to use that, hire staffers, open offices, etc.,” Roberts says.
On one hand, he says it’s frustrating that the winner hasn’t been declared, yet. On the other hand, he likes that voters we’re excited to come out to the polls.
“We saw higher than usual turnout with a lot of people mailing in their ballots. It’s just going to take some time, naturally for this to be resolved,” he adds.
Mia Love’s campaign manager, Dave Hansen, issued a statement, saying, “The numbers are moving in the right direction and we are diligently watching for additional results.”
So, how many ballots are left to count? Both Utah and Salt Lake counties dropped the results for tens of thousands of ballots, today. There were over 40 thousand announced in Utah County, alone. County Clerk/Auditor Chief Deputy Scott Hogensen says they were able to process a large number of ballots over the weekend because the general public wasn’t coming into their offices.
Hogensen says, “We had observers but the observers were unobtrusive. Having to deal with the public, and all the phone calls, that does slow us down.”
He estimates they still have at least 20 thousand ballots left to process.
Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen says her office actually stopped processing ballots so they could get a better number of how many still need to be counted.
She says, “We’re looking for the ones down in the inspection area, the ones in the adjudication area and the ones for the military and overseas.”
Earlier today, she had estimated there were 38 thousand regular ballots plus over 16 thousand provisional ballots still left to process. She also says her office won’t wait until Friday to release more results. They plan on making more data drops every day until the process is finished.
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