Editor: We give a huge thank you to Sportsman’s Warehouse from the Wasatch Mountain State Park and the Friends of the Wasatch Mountain State Park for all your generous donations and support since you opened your doors.
For the third year you have supported our annual Fishing Club for kids. The Park and staff host a fishing club to teach kids how to fish and the rules and responsibilities that goes with fishing. 75 kids attend each Wednesday, one class in the morning and one in the afternoon spending a few hours fishing at our community pond. Our club is staffed by volunteers from the community. We need reels, rods, hooks, nets and many smaller items to aid us in teaching how to fish with worms and bait. We could not keep this club going without your financial support and the volunteers you bring to help teach kids how much fun fishing is. A big thank you to Chelsea, a manager at Sportsman’s Warehouse in Heber, who always comes through in helping make our fishing program available to so many kids.
Nancy O’Toole &
Staff & Friends of Wasatch Mountain State Park
Have I Done Any Good in the World Today?
Editor: Do those words sound familiar? The Savior was asked which was the greatest commandment of all. He said the first was to love the lord thy God. The second was to love thy neighbor as thyself.
Jim Corbett never had to be asked to help his neighbor. If someone was in need Jim was the first one to help. He helped his neighbor George many times to get his T.V. working or figure out how to operate his remote control etc.
Jim’s neighbor Bryan had a number of disabilities. Jim made it a point to call him every day to give him assistance if necessary. I know that Jim brought him back out of a diabetic coma on three different occasions. Jim found Bryan in a coma one day and called 911 but all efforts failed to revive him.
The Savior said “he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.”
Jim had two fractured vertebrae and spinal degeneration. He limped around for years on knees that needed to be replaced. Jim had tried to get on disability for five years. He was turned down again two days before he died. Jim died of a heart attack and a broken heart.
Where is justice?
Problems With Primary Election
Editor: This year’s local August primary election has been fraught with several errors. I'm not questioning the reason for the errors but we all know they occurred and when errors occur, they require clear and direct action to resolve them. The failure to send the right ballots to the right people or even send out ballots timely at all to some people is making news state-wide. I want Wasatch County to be known for the kind people, a thriving economy, and beautiful scenery, not for error-filled elections. First, they didn’t send the right ballots out to unaffiliated voters when Republican and unaffiliated ballots were mailed, so some of unaffiliated voters might be voting in Republican primaries. Then they didn’t send out ballots as prescribed by Utah election law to all other registered voters until several days later when people started asking where their ballots were. Imagine the outrage if it were the Republican ballots that were sent out late or were error filled?
What’s really frustrating is that it would be so easy to correct the errors- just give everyone a little extra time and send a do-over for the incorrect or missing ballots.
The Utah code says “no later than 21 days before election day, the election officer shall mail” the ballot. That’s not ambiguous or confusing, that’s the law. I want our elected officials to follow the law. Errors that threaten the integrity of our fundamental rights need to be acknowledged immediately by those who make them and they need to be intentional in correcting them to the letter of the law. The main job of the County Clerk is to get our elections right and to keep it fair.
All the County Clerk has to do to fix this is say "if you were mailed your a ballot August 1st, you can have until August 22nd to send it in”. That’s what the law says the County Clerk should do and that’s what should be done.
It may not seem like a big deal, but imagine if your neighbors were allowed to go vote from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm, but you were only allowed to vote from 9:00 am to noon. That’s basically what the County Clerk has done here by not immediately stepping in and correcting this error- they have made it harder and limited equal access for some people to vote than their Wasatch County neighbors. That’s just not right. For the integrity of this election and our trust in future elections, I ask the County Clerk to do the right thing and extend the voting deadline for those who received their ballots late due to errors originating from the Clerk's office. It's not only what they should do but it's what they are entrusted to do in the first place.
Equal Protection of Voters
Editor: Equal protection of voters under Utah Code should be upheld by all. Due to the delay in sending out ballots for the primary, the Lieutenant Governor should extend the date to return ballots to Aug 22. This would then comply with the State Law that very clearly requires that ballots be mailed at least 21 days before the election day. That deadline is there to ensure that the ballots are mailed to all voters within a minimal time frame. This also provides voters with notice of the election and time to review and research the candidates. Ballots may be mailed earlier than 21 days before the election but not later.
The Wasatch Clerk's office has indicated they also requested the extension of voting as a remedy to the error of not sending all ballots out on time. According to the Clerk, the ballots for voters registered to all parties other than the GOP were not sent 21 days before the election. This is not the CD3 ballot error we read about in the August 2nd edition of the Wave. They sent postcards out to those voters explaining that error.
Opening extra polling places to accommodate voters was offered as a solution but that is available only to those who can make it to the polls. As the County Council Chair Mr. McPhie reminded us last week, vote by mail has increased participation in the voting process. There are no postcards being sent out to notify voters of this last minute change to add polling locations. The Clerk is posting it to social media and the Wave, however, not everyone reads the Wave or is on social media. As one Heber voter stated to me, this is not equal treatment of voters. State Code was written to ensure elections are administered uniformly across the Utah.
Terri Goodall, Chair
Wasatch County Democratic Party
Outraged at Handling of Election
Editor: I am outraged at the way in which our Wasatch County Government has handled the August primary election. Many Republican ballots were sent to the wrong constituents, and the Democrats did not receive any ballots at all until people started calling their offices. My own ballot came in late to me after placing one of these calls, giving me far less time than other voters. These late ballots go against Utah equal voting codes requiring ballots to be sent "no later than 21 days before an election".
The leadership in the county have refused to move the date, but how is that fair? Why is it that I and many others do not get to have the same amount of time to vote as everyone else? Would the Republican citizens of our county put up with this if the roles were reversed? I would hope not.
The county could easily give extra time for voters whose ballots came late because of the county's mistakes, but instead they choose to ignore the state codes and the wishes of their citizens. We ought to let all voices be heard equally in our community and every voter, regardless of affiliation, should have the same time to access information and make informed choices. We need to be able to trust those running these elections. If we can't trust them to be fair in a small primary election, how can we trust them with any future elections?
Received Multiple Ballots
Editor: I am very concerned about the problems and discrepancies in our county surrounding the August Primary elections. I understand some people were not mailed ballots at all, some people’s ballots were mailed out after the 21 day time frame required by Utah law and some people, myself included, received two ballots.
My first ballot arrived on July 27. I immediately filled it out and mailed it back. The second ballot arrived the following week. When I realized what had happened, I took the second ballot to the County Clerk’s office and explained the problem. They looked up my name and said it did not show I had voted yet so I should fill out another ballot. I did this and put it in the box in the clerk’s office. I was assured if my original ballot turned up in the stack of as yet unrecorded ballots, the computer would catch the glitch. I did not need to worry that I would have voted twice.
While I’m glad I won’t have voted twice, it is disconcerting that these kinds of problems exist in our community. When citizens read about multiple problems with the voting process, it undermines the very foundations of our free election system. People become disillusioned and less likely to believe their vote counts.
It is imperative that every citizen, Republican, Democrat, and unaffiliated, receives equal access and opportunity to vote within the rules prescribed by Utah law. Anything otherwise is a disservice to our citizens, our candidates and our democratic process.