Here’s why official Primary Election results could take up to 3 weeks


SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – The first batch of ballots in the Primary Election have been counted but political experts predict Utah won’t see a clear winner in some of the top races until July.

Election officials tell ABC4 News that more than 400,000 ballots have been turned in for the election so far, and Jason Perry, Director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah, says that alone shows big participation for a primary.

“That is already more than any ballot than we’ve have cast in either the 2018 or the 2016 election,” said Perry. “You start looking at the issues that Utahns care about, like COVID-19, the economy, the protests happening in the state, people are engaged like we have not seen in a very long time and it’s resulting in participation at the ballot box.”

Justin Lee, the State Director of Elections, says although the first wave of results give a pretty good idea as to which candidates are ahead, “many ballots are in drop boxes,” and there are still “many ballots in transit in the mail,” which means candidates will not be giving acceptance speeches Tuesday night.

County clerks now have three weeks rather than two, to finalize results, which will also lead to delays in election outcomes.

“The counties are going to be quarantining ballots for about 24 hours, just letting those ballot sit there to make sure there’s no virus (coronavirus), to make sure they’re safe before they process them,” said Lee. “On Wednesday we’ll find out how many outstanding ballots there are, so we’ll have a better picture of how many votes have been counted, percentages, and how many more votes they have to process.”

Stick with ABC4 News as election results continue to come in.

Brittany Johnson
Brittany prides herself on seeking the truth about everyday issues in the community and providing citizens with the information they need to make the best possible decisions.

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Glen Mills

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 Glen is honored to be delivering the news of the day every weeknight at 5, 6, and 10 in his home state. He is an award-winning veteran journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team as a weekend anchor in June 2013. Over the years, he held various positions at the station as he worked his way up to the main anchor chair. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent and hosts Inside Utah Politics, which airs every Sunday. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...