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SANPETE VOTERS FACE A SINGLE PRIMARY RACE

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Sanpete County Clerk Kristine Christiansen wonders if anyone will show up at the ballot box for Tuesday's primary.

Christiansen doesn't expect much of a turnout, maybe 15 to 20 percent of the eligible voters, because only one county job - sheriff - will be affected by the outcome.Four veteran lawmen seek the position. The Republicans are Sheriff Wallace Buchanan, who wants a second term as chief after serving as a deputy for a number of years, and Stan Anderson, a Utah highway patrolman. Kay P. Larsen, Mt. Pleasant police chief, and Claude A. Pickett, a Sanpete County deputy sheriff, are the Democratic candidates.

Tuesday's balloting will eliminate one from each ticket, but even the losers are expected to continue in law enforcement in one way or another.

The four are now campaigning with posters, brochures, ads in the local papers and lawn signs.

But the public seems apathetic. Christiansen says the likely result will be that the each candidate will mainly get the support of his own personal following.

There is some interest in another contest. Tom Draschil and Dixie Thompson are vying to be the Republican candidate in the 3rd Congressional District.

Both Draschil and Thompson are campaigning in Sanpete County. Draschil is from Utah County and Thompson from Emery County, but both have local connections.

Christiansen has staffed 26 polling places, each with three people. But she's afraid the election judges will spend most of their time between the 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. reading, knitting and visiting.

Christiansen says a low turnout will bother her, partly because of the relatively high cost per vote but more because she thinks participation is important to a thriving democracy.

"People who don't vote have no right to complain about the quality of government," she said.