SOUTHERN UTAH NEWS: Beaver, Garfield, Iron, Kane, Piute, San Juan, Washington, and Wayne counties

Federal officials monitor San Juan County election


SAN JUAN COUNTY (ABC4 News) Observers poured into San Juan County on Election Day to watch results come in after a Democratic activist was removed from the ballot, then reinstated.

The election comes with historic implications. 

The Rural Utah Project and the Department of Justice arrived Tuesday to results come in. One race for county commission is drawing a lot of interest.

That race involves Willie Grayeyes He’s a Democratic activist and a member of the Navajo Nation. He’s running for County Commission District 2 against Republican Kelly Laws.

ABC4 News talked to someone who’s known him for 13 years.

“Trying to get everyone’s vote counted is huge on a reservation which is a little harder to get to voting at,” said Toniee Lewis, of Blanding.

Toniee votes in District 1, but that doesn’t matter for her.

“The comments we hear that Native Americans don’t know how to run a white township, which is totally wrong in my understanding,” said Lewis.

In fact, it could be historic. The county commission not wanting to go on camera, though they do add that the presence of the Department of Justice is nothing new. They’ve been monitoring elections for roughly decades here.  Still, for some, Native Americans feel they’ve been undercounted.

“Honestly I don’t feel that we as Native Americans get the credit for having that voice.”

As of 1 a.m Wednesday, Grayeyes was winning the race with 56 percent of the vote to Laws’ 44. 

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Glen Mills

Chief Political Correspondent

 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...