Only three candidates filed for three available City Council positions in the Nov. 8 election. “In a small city sometimes you beg for candidates,” said Carolyn Jorgensen, the city’s clerk/treasurer. So Castle Dale took advantage of a new state law that allows cities and towns to cancel municipal elections if it would not affect the outcome. Altogether, 38 Utah cities and towns have cancelled their municipal election for the same reason.
State Elections Director Mark Thomas estimates savings to the mostly smaller communities will total almost $250,000. Castle Dale hasn’t calculated how much its savings will be, but the cost of holding an election where the outcome is already known is what led communities to ask Lt. Gov. Greg Bell, the state’s top elections official, to push for a provision that would allow municipalities to cancel those elections.
Bell succeeded with the Utah Legislature, and now municipalities are having their first run with the new elections law. Thomas said his staff conducted about 10 training sessions around the state so municipalities would know how to cancel elections properly. Quite a few calls followed from cities and towns wanting to make sure they did it right, Thomas said.
A related change affects all write-in candidates who jump into an election contest too late to be on the printed ballot. Where in smaller towns they did not have to pre-qualify, now all write-in candidates have to declare their candidacy at least 45 days before Election Day.
Full Article: 38 Utah cities and towns cancel municipal election | ksl.com.