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State says it’s ‘mathematically impossible’ for Garbett to qualify for GOP ballot

Jan Garbett
Jan Garbett

SALT LAKE CITY — GOP gubernatorial candidate Jan Garbett isn’t going to be able to meet the lower voter signature threshold to get on the primary ballot set by U.S. District Court Judge Robert Shelby after she sued state officials, according to a new court filing.

State attorneys said in a notice to the court filed Wednesday that the lieutenant governor’s office, which oversees elections, has determined “that it is now mathematically impossible for Garbett to have submitted 19,040 valid signatures” after reviewing just over 3,000 signatures and determining that more than 1,800 were invalid.

Garbett’s attorneys have asked the court to either further reduce the threshold or put her on the June primary ballot. Three other Republicans running for governor met the 28,000 verified voter signature threshold by the April deadline, but Garbett sued after the nearly 21,000 signatures she collected fell short and were rejected.

Shelby ruled Monday from the bench that the threshold should be lowered for Garbett, who said the COVID-19 pandemic kept her from collecting the signatures needed by the April 13 deadline because canvassers could no longer go door to door.

There are four Republican gubernatorial candidates on the primary ballot, Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, former Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., former Utah GOP Chairman Thomas Wright and former Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes. Cox, Huntsman and Wright gathered signatures. Hughes and Cox were advanced to the ballot by state party delegates.