WEBER COUNTY – Super Tuesday turned out to be not so super for some voters in Weber County. They say efforts to make voting in the primary elections more convenient may not have worked as well as they should have because of bad communication.
Peter Farley thought he could vote in the North Ogden city offices, but the real location was at Union Station. He claims he didn’t get any notification that the polling place had been moved. He also believes moving it would discourage some people from casting their vote.
“People coming on the way to work and on the way home from work are not going to come down here because it’s out of the way,” Farley said.
Weber County voters like Mindy Barton were also confused about where they needed to go on this Super Tuesday. She searched online, and was under the impression she could vote at a nearby library. However, when she got there, someone pointed her in the right direction.
“They didn’t really tell anyone that they did that. At least, I didn’t know about it,” she said.
She believes having only one polling location makes it harder for voters, overall.
“It just comes off as if we don’t want to encourage people to vote when there isn’t more proactive communication from our cities and the people that host where we could go vote,” Barton says.
On the other hand, elections officials say their decision had the effect they wanted. Director Ryan Cowley says they wanted to eliminate traffic jams at smaller locations where there wasn’t enough room to handle demand.
“Consolidating allows us to put all of our resources into one location where we could easily grow and adapt to the lines. There’s tons of room, here. So, even though people may have to travel a bit further to get here, it does allow us to process them and get them through [faster].”
For most of the day, ten workers were on hand and voters reported the lines had moved rather swiftly. However, Cowley says there are always ways to improve and make adjustments when needed.
“We’ll learn some lessons. Any time you try something new, there are always going to be a few things you have to learn from,” he said.
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