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Wasatch County voters critical of caucus confusion

Official ballot drop boxes are one way for Wasatch County residents to vote.
Grace Doerfler
Official ballot drop boxes are one way for Wasatch County residents to vote.

Some members of Wasatch County’s Republican party say they struggled to navigate caucus night March 5, resulting in a not-so-super Tuesday.

Attendees say technology troubles and communication confusion hindered the Wasatch County GOP’s caucus Tuesday evening.

It would have been Farah Sanders' third caucus in Utah; she attended events in 2016 and 2020. But she said she and her husband eventually gave up after trying for hours to figure out how to participate Tuesday.

“Basically, we were denied our right to vote is how we feel,” she said.

Sanders said she didn’t receive any guidance ahead of time about needing to pre-register for this year’s event. When she tried to register on caucus night, the website had crashed.

She said she wasn't the only frustrated voter.

“I know people were complaining that there weren’t very many people there,” she said. “But we saw dozens of people leave our precinct because they were frustrated with the miscommunication about time and the miscommunication about how to vote.”

She said she wishes local precincts had had a paper process as a backup – or that they'd used a mail-in system.

Kendall Crittenden, who served as a precinct chair in this year’s caucus, said the night had its challenges.

“There was a lot of confusion,” he said. “I don’t think a lot of people understood that they needed to register ahead of time, because they’ve never had to do that for a caucus.”

He said it was upsetting to see people go home instead of sticking it out at their local precincts. But Crittenden conceded precinct locations could be better advertised to voters ahead of future caucuses.

Wasatch County GOP chair Jared Rigby didn’t respond to requests for comment in time for this report.

Utah GOP preliminary results show Wasatch County Republicans favored former President Donald Trump Tuesday night. He received 791 of the 1,234 votes cast. Nikki Haley had 427. Official results have not yet been released.

Wasatch County Democrats made their presidential selections in a primary March 5. Preliminary results show, of the 2,463 voters registered, 746 ballots were cast, putting Democratic voter turnout at about 30%. About 89% went to President Joe Biden or about 660 votes.

The official results will be released March 19.