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Wasatch Back primary vote totals certified – school board races were the only close races

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Sean Higgins
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Summit County voter could vote by mail, in person. Registered voters who were out of town could even vote electronically if they requested to do so in time.

Primary election votes have been finalized and certified – and in close local races, one school board ballot was decided by just four votes.

The June 28 primary was mostly a partisan one, with only registered Republicans voting in their party’s primaries for state and federal offices. The exception to that was some school board races. Those are non-partisan, so all voters living in districts with a school board primary got ballots.

In Summit County, voters in Park City Board of Education’s District 4, which represents Jeremy Ranch, got ballots to choose among three candidates for that seat. The race was tight, and the final tally shows that Meredith Reed, the top finisher with 519 votes, prevailed by a margin of 26 votes. Mandy Pomeroy, who’s currently serving as an interim board member in that seat, received 493 votes. Josh Mann, author of the local blog The Park Rag, got 471 votes – just 22 fewer than Pomeroy.

Pomeroy and Reed will appear on the November ballot.

The South Summit School Board was an even tighter race. While Olivia Gunnerson won handily with 183 votes, candidates Troy Beckstead and Jerry Parker were only four votes apart. Beckstead and Gunnerson will now face off in November.

After the primary, county clerks in areas with primaries continue the process of tallying ballots that arrive late and confirming all ballots have been correctly submitted and are valid.

In Summit County, 6,218 voters cast ballots, a turnout rate of 44 %. Of those ballots, 190 ballots were not counted. County Clerk Eve Furse explained to the county council Tuesday that those ballots were disqualified for multiple reasons. The most common reason was being received with a postmark after the election deadline, which happened with 93 ballots. The next most common reason for disqualification was signatures not matching.

A handful of ballots didn’t count because those voters had moved out of the area. Three voters submitted ballots for a different election.

Summit County certified its election results Tuesday with the county council convened as the Board of Canvassers. Furse

Summit County Republican Party chair Karen Ballash and treasurer Karen Spencer attended the certification and told the council they believed the election had been honestly run. They complimented Furse and the clerk’s office before mentioning they had some issues with the election that pertained to their party, and would be taking them up elsewhere. They did not specify what those issues were.

In Wasatch County, 4,711 voters cast ballots. There were no local races on their ballots; they were voting in U.S. Congressional races and overwhelmingly chose incumbents Senator Mike Lee and Representative John Curtis for the November ballot.

Summit County voters also favored those incumbents as well as incumbent state Rep Kera Birkeland and U.S. Rep Blake Moore.

Michelle, who joined KPCW in 2021, arrived in Utah in 2018 by way of Massachusetts, where the skiing was icy and the mosquitoes formidable. A former daily newspaper reporter and editor (at the Visalia Times-Delta in CA) and columnist (at The Cohasset Mariner in MA), Michelle has been a writer and editor for decades. She holds a journalism degree from CSU Fresno and has worked as a journalist, freelance writer and web content creator, reporting extensively on education and youth along with general assignment and breaking news.