PROVO (ABC4 News) -Many voters in Utah County were frustrated after enduring long, slow-moving lines for hours Tuesday.
Some waited more than four hours to cast their ballot. Some voters at the Rec Center in Provo who got in line by 8 o’clock didn’t vote til after midnight. At times there were also excessive waits at the County’s Election Service Centers in Lehi and Pleasant Grove.
“I’ve never had to wait this long,” Rachel Hall told ABC4 News.
“We waited in the line forever, ” Lehi voter Jamie Moesser said.
“There was a three hour wait over in Lehi,” Brian Fugal said. “Which is pretty incredible.”
County Chief Deputy Clerk Scott Hogensen blames the length of the ballot for the length of the lines.
“We’ve never had a ballot this long before and it has a lot of like bond questions and propositions,” Hogensen explained. ” “Some of them they’re not really easy to understand so they’d have to read them more than once. We figure it took everybody about probably 3 times the amount of time to vote as usual.”
This was their first major election as a Vote by Mail county and thus they only had 24 service centers instead of the usual 129 polling places for residents to cast provisional ballots or register “day of”.
Amelia Powers, who was just elected the County’s new Clerk, says officials dropped the ball. She says the County doesn’t have a sufficient number of voting terminals and they should have anticipated the difficulties other counties around the nation have encountered in this same situation.
“I don’t think that we in Utah County need to be making mistakes that other people have made,” Powers said. “I think we need to be learning from their mistakes…From us watching other counties we should know that the first major election in vote by mail that we’re going to have these problems and we should prepare for these problems.”
Powers says that the County will buy new voting machines and utilize them for the 2019 Municipal Election and the 2020 Presidential Election.