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  • Official Canvass of votes did not change the outcome of November 5th election

By Myrna Trauntvein
Times-News Correspondent

David Leavitt, along with three other incumbents, will no longer serve the county as an elected official after January 2003.

After all absentee and provisional ballots&emdash;a total of 34 ballots&emdash;were counted, the final tally left Leavitt 22 votes away from tieing the vote.

The ballots were opened, and taken to the office of Glenn Greenhalgh, county computer superintendent, where the electronic ballot counter is set up, for the final count.

The procedure was the usual followed during the annual canvass of the votes done by Juab County Commissioners following each election, By state law, the vote is canvassed each election.

Leavitt, Republican incumbent county attorney, and Jared Eldridge, Democrat challenger, were just 16 votes away from one another with the edge going to Eldridge on Tuesday, Nov. 5.

Of the 38 possible ballots, four were not counted.

"An absentee ballot must be postmarked no later than election day, and one came in with a postmark one day after the election," said Pat Ingram, county clerk/auditor.

All absentee ballots received after Tuesday, Nov. 5, are checked for the postmark.

"One ballot came without the affidavit, even though it came in good time," she said.

Another came in without the needed signature on the back and the fourth was discarded by commissioners when all three agreed that the signature did not match the application signature.

The voters from Callao, who do not have a polling place and vote by mail, are the one exception to required application signatures. The clerk's office retains a signature file for those voters.

The Nov. 18 county-wide canvass did not net enough absentee ballots for any candidate to change the outcome.

Eldridge had 1,376 votes to Leavitt's 1,354 votes. Of those voting, 50.40 percent voted for Eldridge and 49.60 percent voted for Leavitt.

Had voters turned out in better numbers, the outcome may have been different, or it may have just been more of the same.

Of the 4,917 registered voters in 12 precincts in Juab County, 2,842 ballots were cast. That meant that 57.80 percent of eligible registered voters actually voted.

Those who voted a straight party ballot were mostly Republicans who had 220 straight votes as opposed to the Democratic party which had 130 straight ticket votes. The Green Party received 3 straight party votes and the Libertarian Party received 21 votes.

Juab County Sheriff and 22-year incumbent, David Carter, a Democrat, was defeated by his challenger, Alden Orme, a Republican, by a small margin.

Carter did pick up a couple of votes because Orme was ahead by 48 votes election night and the final vote left Orme 46 votes ahead.

Joseph Bernini, commissioner, said a recount vote can only be called for if the voter spread is closer.

"The total difference in the vote must be at least one vote different per each precinct," Bernini said. "That would be a total difference of 12 votes in Juab County."

The votes would not need to come one from each precinct but would be for a total of 12.

Carter said, even had the vote been closer&emdash;just 12 votes apart&emdash;he would still not have requested a recount.

"The way I look at it, if that many people don't want me as Sheriff, I'm in the wrong job," said Carter.

A recount, while paid for by the county, must be requested by the candidate before it is ever undertaken.

Bernini, also a Democrat and a long-time commissioner, was defeated by Republican challenger Neil Cook. Jim Maxwell, also in the race as an unaffiliated challenger, was defeated.

Bernini, who has been a commissioner for 22 years, received 950 votes, Cook received 1,047 votes and Maxwell received 648.

Several of the ballots included write-in candidates requiring that portion of the ballot be tallied by hand. Commissioners worked together to total the write-in votes which were all for Tintic School District races.

In Tintic School Board District #5, Glenn Allred picked up 5 more votes and Dennis Timm gained one more vote. Timm was still the winner with 42 votes against Allred's 16 votes.

Ingram, Democrat, retained her office against Republican challenger, Neal Menlove. Ingram ended up with 1,511 votes for 54.89 percent against Menlove's 1,242 or 45.11 percent.

On the unchallenged incumbent list were Robert Steele, Republican county commission; Shirl Nichols, Democrat, assessor; Craig Sperry, Democrat, recorder, and Jean Bowles, Republican, county treasurer.

Sharla Williams, Juab County Justice, received 2,154 affirmative retention votes and 254 negative votes.

Ingram said, the provisional vote, new to state voting law this year, involved mostly those who were registered voters in one precinct, but because of changes made in boundaries, should have been moved to another precinct.

"They would go to the old voting district where they would be given a provisional ballot," she said. "My office verified each of those voters and found them all to be registered."

David Leavitt, county attorney, was not present for the vote canvass because he had been sent on assignment to Salt Lake City by the Juab County Commission to perform county business. He, therefore, was not available for comment.

 Final election totals!