Utah Democratic Party Chairman Peter Corroon is complaining that county clerks statewide are essentially running a taxpayer-funded drive to register new Republicans. But election officials say he is misconstruing their efforts, which are aimed at helping voters receive whichever by-mail party ballot they choose in time for the June 28 primary. The dispute comes, in part, because 20 of the state’s 29 counties are conducting elections mostly by mail this year. So clerks wrote letters to the 41 percent of Utahns who are not affiliated with any party, asking whether they want a Democratic or Republican ballot. Letters warn that if voters choose to receive a GOP ballot, they will then be registered as Republicans. That’s because the GOP allows only registered Republicans to vote in its closed primary, but Democrats allow anyone of any party to vote in its open primary.
Corroon cried foul in a letter Thursday to Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, who oversees state election law. “These taxpayer-funded efforts by our county clerks amount to a voter registration drive for the Utah GOP,” Corroon wrote.
“These letters seem to be encouraging unaffiliated voters to vote in Republican primaries, rather than the primary election in which they are already eligible to vote,” namely the Democratic one, Corroon wrote. “Clerks should not be in the business of recruiting voters to change their party affiliation to the Utah Republican Party, and certainly not at taxpayer expense.”
Corroon added, “You should direct the county clerks to send all registered voters a Democratic ballot” because all voters are eligible to participate in it.
Full Article: Democratic chief claims county clerks are running a GOP registration drive | The Salt Lake Tribune.