Year In Review: Decision 2020

Dec 30, 2020, 10:08 AM

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – From Super Tuesday to hosting the Vice Presidential Debate to voting during a pandemic, Election Year 2020 was one for the record books.

Utah started out the 2020 Election Year participating in its first Super Tuesday presidential primary. The night have now President-Elect Joe Biden a stunning series of victories.

Then, the COVID-19 pandemic posed challenges for Utah’s June primary, with debates going forward with social distancing and without in-person audiences.

Utah moved the election entirely to vote-by-mail and drive-up locations.

From there, the stage was set for the general election in October. Utah was in the spotlight again when the University of Utah hosted the one and only Vice Presidential Debate.

“It’s a great way to showcase the civic engagement process, to showcase the University of Utah, and, really, honestly, the entire State of Utah,” said Chris Nelson, U of U communications director.

Months of planning health and safety protocols paid off as the campus successfully welcomed hundreds during a pandemic, although an unwelcome fly captured the world’s attention after it landed on Vice President Mike Pence’s head.

Come November, while the nation debated the security of mail-in voting, Utah election officials said the Beehive State had years of a head start when it comes to implementing vote-by-mail.

“I think the big message for the rest of the country is that a mail-in election doesn’t have to be a mess,” said Amelia Powers Gardner, Utah County clerk/auditor. “It can be a smooth process.”

As expected, ballot counting went on for days, although many races were quickly decided – including Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox becoming the governor elect.

During the campaign, Cox and his Democratic challenger, Chris Peterson, made national headlines when they called for civility.

We waited nearly two weeks to know who won the 4th Congressional District race, with Republican Burgess Owens winning the seat back for the GOP against Democratic incumbent Ben McAdams.

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Year In Review: Decision 2020