Local Dems say county clerk violated state law in poll worker selections
by Steve Kadel
contributing writer
Oct 18, 2012 | 1206 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The vice chairwoman of the Grand County Democratic Party criticized the selection of poll workers for the November general election, saying the list compiled by Grand County Clerk Diana Carroll violates state law.

Karen Robinson spoke during the Oct. 16 Grand County Council meeting. She said that under Utah code the Democratic Party should have at least one poll worker placed at each of the nine precincts along with two Republicans at each precinct.

Instead, Carroll’s list included only one Democrat for all of the county’s precincts.

“There has not been even a small effort to include people representing the list submitted by the Democratic Party,” Robinson said.

She noted that state code requires two election judges for each precinct be appointed from the political party that cast the highest number of votes for state office in the last election. One representative of the party that cast the second highest number of votes also must be appointed to each precinct, Robinson said.

“I don’t have the statistics for numbers of voters by party, but it’s sort of easy to guess highest and second highest,” she said.

The Democrats submitted the names of 14 potential poll workers.

Carroll replied that many Democrats on the party’s list were not experienced at being poll workers and others were unwilling to work both the primary and general elections. One person on the list is not a registered voter, according to Carroll.

“I need to have a dependable staff,” she said. “I’m barely squeaking by with what I have.”

Council member Chris Baird said he has never heard of a similar problem in the county.

Carroll told the council that it is too late to train more poll workers because early voting starts Tuesday, Oct. 23. Training is set for this Thursday afternoon, Oct. 18, she said, giving little time to make new selections and notify those chosen.

Council member Audrey Graham acknowledged that it is too late to change the selections, but said, “At least I would like to see this done according to state law next year.”

Robinson accepted the council’s decision without protest.

“This has been a law for a long time,” Robinson said. “I would be satisfied if we follow the law in the future.”

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