Utah Election Day pushed back two weeks due to CD2 special election

Nov 7, 2023, 5:26 PM | Updated: 5:59 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Nov. 7 is Election Day across the country, but not in Utah. Thanks to a special election in Congressional District 2, Utah’s Election Day isn’t for two more weeks.

“We’ve gotten a lot of calls, understandably so because you see a lot of the national rhetoric saying, and we all know today should be Election Day,” said Salt Lake County Clerk Lannie Champman.

Election Day in Utah is Nov. 21, and ballots must be postmarked the day before.

“Most voters are not aware of the change,” said Weber County Clerk Ricky Hatch.

Hatch’s county has no cities within the CD2 boundaries, which means many of the voters there haven’t heard about why the dates have moved.

This summer, the legislature and governor opted to move the dates back because of the special election that was triggered to replace Rep. Chris Stewart, who stepped down in CD2. Utah had a law on the books that didn’t allow for a special election to be held on the existing election dates. So, the legislature changed the law.

At the time, Gov. Spencer Cox said it would ensure a “smooth and efficient transition with minimal disruption” to fill the seat of the outgoing congressman and “minimize the amount of time that the House seat will be vacant and to accommodate this year’s municipal elections,” he told KSL in June.

Chapman said they’ve had to remind voters of that.

“They’re saying, ‘I feel like today should be Election Day.’ And then we remind them about what happened this past summer. ‘Oh, yeah, I remember hearing something about that on the news,'” he said.

Chapman said the confusion might end up being a good thing.

“We’re seeing a lot more of a push of people turning their ballots in earlier than they normally would have,” Chapman said.

Voters who’ve shown up at the Salt Lake County Government Center say they’re just grateful to get to vote.

“I don’t care what day it is, come and vote, doesn’t matter what day as long as you came,” said Michael Rupp, a Salt Lake County voter.

And while it’s typically taboo to talk politics with family around the holidays, this year, Champman wants you to remember to think about voting when you’re prepping that Thanksgiving dinner.

“Think turkey, think voting this year,” she said.

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Utah Election Day pushed back two weeks due to CD2 special election