SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Super Tuesday has arrived for the first-time-ever in Utah. It’s an exciting opportunity for voters as Utah becomes one of the of fourteen states across the country that dictate more than a third of the nation’s Democratic delegates.
Yet, some voters are having a hard time getting into the spirit of things.
Another one bites the dust
In the lead-up to Super Tuesday, three presidential hopefuls have ended their campaign: Tom Steyer, Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar.
That leaves thousands of Utah’s early voters that have already cast a ballot for those candidates feeling spurned.
Unfortunately, there are no “do-overs” when it comes to voting.
“It’s against the law to vote twice,” Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen tells the Deseret News. “Unfortunately there is no way you can retrieve that ballot.”
According to Justin Lee, director of state elections, 333,000 Utahns have voted early as of Friday.
It may seem like a lot, but that number represents only about 22.8% of the state’s active voters.
Swensen says the early voting numbers are down, most likely, because people wanted to avoid this very problem.
“I think a lot of people were waiting to see what candidates were going to do,” she explains. “And rightfully so.”
Long lines for Super Tuesday?
This is the first time that Utah has participated in Super Tuesday, so election officials aren’t exactly sure how things will play out.
That means there’s no science to avoiding a long line.
“This is like having a party at 34 locations, inviting 540,000 potential voters and not knowing where they are going to show up,” says Swensen.
In addition to 34 voting centers in Salt Lake County alone, those locations will be staying open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Voters may drop off their mail-by-vote ballots at those locations or vote in person.
Keep in mind, valid identification is required, such as a current driver’s license or U.S. passport.
Additional information on voting locations and I.D. requirements can be found on the county’s election site.
Should Utah stick with Super Tuesday in the Future?
Even though some early voters were disappointed their choices dropped out of the race before the big day, both of Utah’s political leaders agree: Utah needs to stick with Super Tuesday.
One-third of all delegates who choose a nominee for President are decided on Super Tuesday. Utah’s Republican Chair, Derek Brown says that’s why he’s excited Utah is participating.
“Four years ago, by the time Utah voted in a primary, it was all over,” he says referring to the fact that both presidential candidates in 2016 had received the required number of delegates to become their party’s nominee by the time Utah voted.
Utah’s Democratic chair, Jeff Merchant says the change means the candidates will get to know Utah. “We all benefit by having national candidates come to Utah whether in 2020, 2024 or 2028, they get to know our residents and communities.”