Primary Election Generating Unexpected Work

Primary Election Generating Unexpected Work

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Richard Piatt ReportingUtah's primary election was Tuesday, but it is still generating a lot of work for government employees, and is costing taxpayers.

The question has come up because Republicans closed their primary to anyone except registered Republicans. That meant that anyone who didn't formally declare Republican party affiliation had to do that before they could vote for GOP candidates Tuesday.

It caused a lot of confusion with people who thought they already were registered Republicans -- anger with people who want political privacy.

Processing the 20,000 party affiliation forms is creating extra work and costs for county clerks.

Sherrie Swenson, Salt Lake County Clerk: "Well they have to pull up the individual name on the computer and make that change. Nothing else may have changed like address and such, but we still need to go in and make that change, so it's very time consuming."

Republican convention delegates closed primaries a couple years ago to keep Democrat infiltrators from influencing their elections. And they say taxpayers should foot the bill because it's the price of Democracy.

It cost the state about $500,000 to run the primary. Unless Republican delegates change the party rules, taxpayers will pay for future closed primaries, too.

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