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Salt Lake, Utah and Weber counties report no lines, urge voters to drop off ballots by 8 p.m.

SHARE Salt Lake, Utah and Weber counties report no lines, urge voters to drop off ballots by 8 p.m.
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Maddie Kaminski drops her election ballot off outside of the Salt Lake County Government Center in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Election clerks from Salt Lake, Utah and Weber counties are reporting no issues and no wait times on Election Day. As counties report a low voter turnout, they are reminding voters they must turn in their ballots or vote in person by 8 p.m.

A preliminary tally, including all early voting locations and the vote-by-mail ballots received, will be released shortly after the polls close.

Salt Lake County

Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen said voters were “fast and furiously” turning in their ballots in drop boxes Tuesday afternoon.

She said voter turnout was “still disappointing compared to what we hoped they would be.”

“There’s definitely not lines,” she said.

As of 11 a.m., Swensen said Salt Lake City had a 37% return rate of mail-in ballots. Countywide the mail-in ballots return rate was 26%.

“It’s absolutely the trend unfortunately. It’s what I’ve seen for the last elections,” she said.

As of 2:30 p.m., Swensen said there had been 1,621 people who voted in Salt Lake County’s polling centers in person. Salt Lake County Government Center and Trolley Square were among the most popular voting locations in Salt Lake County.

She said the highly contested Salt Lake City mayoral race — between Luz Escamilla and Erin Mendenhall — would draw the most voters.

Voters from cities like Millcreek and Brighton will elect new mayors, too. However, as of 11 a.m., Millcreek had a 31% voter turnout so far. Brighton, which is electing its first mayor and City Council members, had a 58% voter turnout as of Tuesday morning.

Swensen said the city of West Jordan, which changed its form of government, reported a 20% voter turnout as of 11 a.m.

“You would think that would be a big turnout, but it hasn’t been. It’s been kind of disappointing,” she said.

Utah County

As of 2:30 p.m., Utah County Clerk Amelia Powers reported no lines at polling stations on Tuesday.

“Everything right now seems to be going well,” she said.

Powers expects just below a 30% voter turnout. Powers said voter turnout was “a little low” because no mayors were up for election in Utah County.

She said Provo was the most active city in the county due to a Provo School District bond on the ballot.

“That’s driving voter turnout in Provo,” she said.

She said this year is the first time the county is utilizing drop boxes for mail-in ballots, which makes it easier for elections workers to pick them up and process the ballots in a timely matter.

Weber County

Weber County’s elections director, Ryan Cowley, reported a 30% voter turnout as of 3 p.m.

Cowley said 30,500 mail-in ballots had been turned in so far, and 467 people had voted in person. He said there were no lines in Weber County’s six polling stations.

Typically, he said, he expects voter turnout between 35%-40%.

“The mayoral races always draw the most attention,” he said.

Voters in Hooper, Ogden and North Ogden are selecting new mayors.

He said North Ogden’s mayoral race has drawn “special interest” from residents.

North Ogden’s mayor seat is up for election after Utah National Guard Maj. Brent Taylor, who was the city’s mayor, was killed during a deployment in Afghanistan in 2018.

The seat is currently being held by Brent Chugg, who was appointed by North Ogden City Council in January to serve as mayor through 2019. The new mayor will serve the last two years of Taylor’s term through 2021.