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Final tally: Bernie Sanders wins 29 delegates in Utah Democratic caucus

Democratic candidate for president Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont gives a speech to supporters at This is the Place Heritage Park in Salt Lake City, Friday, March 18, 2016.
Democratic candidate for president Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont gives a speech to supporters at This is the Place Heritage Park in Salt Lake City, Friday, March 18, 2016.
Chris Samuels, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders picked up 29 delegates after running away with the Utah Democratic presidential preference caucus last week.

The Utah Democratic Party on Wednesday officially declared Sanders the winner over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who gets eight delegates. The final vote tally showed Sanders with 77.1 percent to 19.8 percent for Clinton. A record 81,606 people voted in the March 22 caucus, according to the party.

Utah's four Democratic superdelegates ares split, with Utah Democratic Party Chairman Peter Corroon and national committeeman Wayne Holland supporting Sanders and party Vice Chairwoman Breanne Miller and national committeewoman Rep. Patrice Arent, D-Millcreek, backing Clinton. Superdelegates are free to choose any candidate.

Long lines and ballot shortages plagued many of the 90 Democratic caucus sites throughout the state. The party printed 65,000 ballots but had to print 15,000 more on the fly during the voting. Due to the massive crowds, some sites stopped checking voter registrations and IDs to make sure everyone in line could cast a ballot.

Party officials held off on declaring a winner and dividing delegates until completing a canvass of the vote.

Caucus participants also elected state and county delegates to the Utah Democratic Party convention April 22-23 in Salt Lake City.

Corroon praised Democratic voters for braving long lines and bad weather to make their voices heard. Their enthusiasm, he said, will help build momentum for Democratic candidates up and down the ballot in November.

Corroon reiterated that the state and not political parties should have run the presidential caucus.

"As thrilled as we were to see so much energy in the Democratic ranks, things would have gone more smoothly if the presidential primary had been run by the lieutenant governor’s office and our 29 county clerks," he said.

Utahns were unable to vote by mail and/or absentee ballot, employers were not required to give workers time off to vote, and thousands were disenfranchised, he said.

Email: romboy@deseretnews.com

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