Utah election officials are dealing with another vote-by-mail snafu. Wasatch County officials say 1,400 Republican ballots in the 3rd Congressional District were mistakenly sent to unaffiliated voters ahead of the August 15 primary election.
Wasatch County Clerk-Auditor Brent Titcomb says they discovered the ballot mix up on Monday and are taking immediate steps to correct the problem.
"We're sending out letters and post cards to the voters in question to let them know those Republican ballots won't be counted," he said.
A portion of the 3rd CD is contained in Wasatch County, primarily Heber City and Midway.
Only registered Republicans can vote in the August 15 GOP primary. The ballots in question feature the 3rd Congressional District primary contest between Provo Mayor John Curtis, former Utah Rep. Chris Herrod, and Tanner Ainge. The winner of the primary election will face Democrat Kathie Allen and a handful of minor party candidates in November.
The Wasatch County snafu comes on the heels of a similar mistake in Utah County where nearly 70,000 Republican primary ballots were mistakenly sent to unaffiliated voters. That error will cost Utah County between $15,000 and $20,000 to remedy.
Titcomb says the mistake in Wasatch County is much smaller, so it should cost less than $1,000 to fix. That cost includes postage and reprinting ballots.
Titcomb also adds fixing their error will be relatively easy
"It's not like slicing butter, but we know which precincts and which voters are affected," he says. "As they come in, we'll look at their signatures and separate out those ballots. We can also program the counting system to skip those ballots, too."
Titcomb also says his office believes they'll only have to remove a few hundred ballots in all.
"The number that will come back will be nowhere near 1,400 ballots. In fact, I don't think it will be more than 200 ballots total," he said.