Utah (ABC4 News) — As winners of the 2020 elections have been announced and races continue to be called, many Utahns are wondering when a transition of power will take place allowing these new leaders to officially take over.

A transition of power is a concept important to all types of governments. A transition of power happens when a new leader hands over controls to the newly elected leadership.

Utah has had many close elections, some of which haven’t been called yet

One of Utah’s biggest races was for Governor. The race was between current Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox (R) and Law Professor Chris Peterson (D). Spencer Cox won the race and Peterson conceded.

Officials with Gov. Herbert’s office tell ABC4 News Gov. Herbert will keep responsibility until Jan. 1, 2021; at that point, responsibility transitions to Governor-elect Spencer Cox.

Even though Governor-elect Cox will not be inaugurated until Jan. 4, 2021, he will still assume responsibility on Jan. 1.

The race for Salt Lake County Mayor has yet to be called. The race is between current Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson and Trent Staggs. 

According to the Salt Lake County Mayor’s Office, there is no formal policy regarding executive or legislative transition, and say they follow historical practices.

In the past, following the final canvass, the Mayor-elect has been put on as a temporary employee with a staff member (or two) to begin coming up to speed on County programs and processes and to serve as the Mayor-elect’s transition team.

Council Members have also been brought on as temporary employees and, as a courtesy, have been invited to sit in on budget deliberations to facilitate an understanding of the pending budget.

While these practices are not memorialized in policy, the Council has repeatedly endorsed the approach, officials with the mayor’s office told ABC4 News. 

Whoever the leader or position a transition of power occurs when it comes time for the newly elect to take over.