UTAH ELECTION

Utah County Prop 9 Failing 59 To 41 As Election Night Comes To An End

Nov 4, 2020, 12:12 AM | Updated: 12:18 am
FILE (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)...
FILE (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
(Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

PROVO, Utah — A proposition that would have changed the county’s form of government from a commission to a mayor and council was failing by a roughly 59-to-41% margin early Wednesday morning as opponents of the measure claimed victory.

“I think this sends a strong signal, you know, to this idea of switching to a mayor-council form, and I would say if the numbers hold up where we’re close to that 60% or somewhere in the high 60s that this issue is settled,” said Utah County Commissioner Bill Lee, who had actively fought against the proposition.

As of early Wednesday morning, “No” votes on Prop. 9 outnumbered “Yes” votes by more than 35,000 with more than 191,000 votes counted. Lee said at that point, the voting numbers would essentially have to reverse themselves by a roughly 2-to-1 margin to see a different outcome.

Those on both sides of the issue had expressed optimism heading into election night.

Fellow Utah County Commissioner Tanner Ainge, who supported Prop. 9, had said earlier Tuesday that a mayor and council would be more cost-effective and functional.

“Having this three CEO structure is just very dysfunctional,” Ainge said. “No company, no nonprofit organization, no other form of government would really sign up for three CEOs managing day-to-day affairs.”

When contacted after the first batch of election results, Ainge only referred back to his earlier statements about why he supported having a mayor and council running Utah County.

Lee said the plan had not been “properly vetted” and he characterized the consolidation of power under a county mayor to be a worse option.

“The proposal they have on there is basically taking all of the executive power — right now we have separation with that with three different county commissioners — and they’re putting that into one mayor,” Lee said. “There is a lot of concentrating of power into one position, which I think is problematic.”

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Utah County Prop 9 Failing 59 To 41 As Election Night Comes To An End