LOGAN – Election 2020 is shaping up to have a record breaking turn-out, said new Cache County Clerk Jess Bradfield, whose duties include conducting the countywide election. The state had counted slightly more than 1 million ballots as of mid-day Monday.
The county Administrative building was bustling with voters dropping off ballots with all the other county business going on.
“The first week was crazy, but I think I’m starting to settle in a little bit,” he said speaking of his new role as clerk.
Ballots were being dropped off at several different boxes Monday as voters were making sure their voice was heard. The drive-through ballot box was getting a blue envelope dropped off about every minute.
“As of right now we have 36,129 ballots turned in with an additional 5,000 more out there, and we expect by the end of the day we will have about 7,000 ballots turned in,” Bradfield said. “The current record is 76 percent of registered voters casting their ballots.”
He said they are expecting to have 67 percent of voter turn-out by the end of the day.
The mail-in ballots should all be post marked with Monday’s date and there is no way of telling how many ballots will be in Tuesday’s mailbox at the county.
“If we get 10 percent of the people to vote (Tuesday) it should break the record,” he said. “We hope to get to 80 percent before everything is done.”
Matt Olsen was marking his ballot right outside the Clerk’s Office and dropped it in the ballot box right out-side of the Clerk’s office. And Racheal Wilkinson, holding her baby daughter, was walking down the hall with two ballots ready to be counted.
Bradfield and Community Garden Manager Samantha Fitch unlocked one of the ballot boxes and took the envelopes inside a large blue cloth ballot bag to the next step in the ballot counting process.
The blue envelops are dropped in a machine that makes a cut in the envelope so the ballot can be removed.
Jill Lee made short work of operating the envelope slitter used to help separate the ballots from the envelopes. The rooms are small without a lot of space to spare, and the different stations are crowded workspaces.
After the ballots are separated from the envelops, Randy Gus is charged with running them through a signature verifying machine to make sure the signatures match up.
While the behind the scenes work is going on, voters continue bringing their ballots into the county office.
The Cache County Events Center, located on the Fairgrounds in Logan, is all set up with voting booths, tables, pens, protective masks and hand sanitizer.
“We have been developing the best way to organize the Events Center for a couple of weeks,” Bradfield said. “We wanted to get a design that was both efficient and COVID safe.”
They spent a full day last Friday putting a smaller version of the room to make sure it would work.
“It worked flawless, so we incorporated the full design in the Events Center last Friday,” Bradfield said. “We will be already to go (Tuesday).”
The center will open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. for in-person voting.