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Write-In Candidate Could Cause More Confusion

Write-In Candidate Could Cause More Confusion

Posted - Oct. 6, 2004 at 4:50 p.m.



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Ed Yeates ReportingThe day after Mayor Nancy Workman's party dumped her by pulling its support and giving it to a write-in candidate, Workman is still in the race. The Salt Lake County Clerk's office is bracing itself for some potential confusion on Election Day.

Officials with Nancy Workman's campaign say last night's vote by fellow County Republicans to withdraw support for her changes nothing; she is not quitting the race.

Meantime, the people who will count the votes on Election Day are expecting to be counting thousands of write-in ballots. The political drama surrounding embattled Mayor Nancy Workman has set the stage for a very interesting Election Day.

She insists she's staying in the race, this despite County Republicans last night dropping support for her in favor of write-in candidate, and well-known developer Ellis Ivory. Ivory says he's prepared to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars, some of it on stickers to make it easier for voters to pick him.

County Clerk Sherrie Swensen showed us the ballot. She says, based on previous elections, to win Ivory would need easily more than 100,000 people to write or sticker him in.

Sherrie Swensen, Salt Lake County Clerk: β€œThe candidate can hand out the stickers. They can do it in advance. They can mail it to people. They could hand it out at the polling location if they are 150 feet away from where the voting is taking place.”

Swensen says she's bringing in extra election judges to help with counting an expected high number of write-ins for Ivory.

If Workman were to change her mind and decide to leave the race, that would require fixing thousands of election machines, depending on the timing.

Sherrie Swensen: "We would prepare little stickers that would say candidate withdrew and place it over her name on all the voting devices, of which there are about 5000 pages. So it would be a very labor intensive process."

Meantime, absentee voters are already making their choices. One we spoke with says for the mayor's race he's picking "none of the above."

Christopher Lenzer, West Jordan Voter: "I'm going to leave it blank. How come? Because of the current scandal and the unfortunate situation that the other party will likely win anyway."

On a side note, the deadline for registering to vote is coming up soon; it's one week from today, next Wednesday.

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