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Cost-cutting move reduces Davis County polling sites from 69 to 26

FARMINGTON — Elections often are about change, but Davis County residents will notice some differences in the primary election before they even head out to vote.

In a cost-cutting move, election officials have whittled down the number of polling locations from 69 to 26 for the June 22 event.

"We've looked at other primary elections and the turnout and what's on the ballot this year," county election director Pat Beckstead said. "We only have three representative districts and two school board races, so there are going to be some areas of the county where the only thing they have to vote on is the U.S. Senate race."

The state representative districts are Districts 15, 19 and 20. The Davis School Board elections are in Districts 3 and 6.

Every city will have at least one polling site. That's common for smaller cities, but some of the larger cities will have fewer sites. Layton, for example, will have five, down from the 20 to 25 that city would have for some elections.

An election typically costs $150,000 to $180,000, but the polling site consolidation is expected to save about $40,000. Most of that savings comes from having fewer poll workers, with the remainder through less delivery, machine and printing costs.

Officials expect about a 20 percent overall turnout for the primary, or about 27,000 of its 135,000 registered active voters. But many will vote early or vote by mail, leaving perhaps 5,000 to 6,000 actually casting ballots at polling sites on Election Day. And Beckstead said she does not expect the smaller voting-site pool to affect voter turnout.

"This is such a mobile society, and we're putting our locations in different geographical areas throughout the cities or more of a central area or at least their city offices, so it's easy for people to get to these locations that we have selected," she said.

Postcards will be sent to voters during the early voting period, alerting them about early voting, their Election Day polling location and the option to vote by mail.

Early voting will take place June 8-18 for at least four hours a day at the Bountiful and Layton libraries, the Syracuse Community Center and the Davis County Courthouse.

Details are available by calling 801-451-3589 or at www.DavisCountyUtah.gov/clerkauditor/elections or DavisVotes.com.

e-mail: bwallace@desnews.com