No last minute surprises as Salt Lake County certifies its final election results

(Rick Egan | Tribune file photo) In this July 1, 2020, file photo, Lannie Chapman, Chief Deputy Clerk, prepares primary election ballots for counting at the Salt Lake County Government Center. Salt Lake County's election results were certified during a canvass Tuesday.

Salt Lake County’s certified elections results are in, and they show a preference for mixed ticket voting.

Voters in Utah’s most populous county soundly rejected President Donald Trump, who received 42% of the vote compared to 53% for President-elect Joe Biden. Statewide, though, Utahns voted for Trump with a 20-percentage point margin over Biden.

Salt Lake County residents also supported Rep. Ben McAdams, a Democrat, by 9 points over Burgess Owens for Congressional District 4. McAdams, however, fell behind Owens by a narrow margin in the district, which also includes part of the far more conservative Utah County, as well as Juab and Sanpete counties.

Democrats had hoped to flip three seats in the state House, but only succeeded in District 38, where Democrat Ashlee Matthews unseated Republican Rep. Eric Hutchings there by 4 points. Republican Rep. Jim Dunnigan held on to his seat in House District 39, however, beating Democrat Lynette Wendel by just 84 votes. Republican Rep. Steve Eliason also kept his House District 45 seat for another term, coming out ahead of challenger Wendy Davis by 77 votes.

County Mayor Jennifer Wilson officially won reelection, beating Republican challenger Trent Staggs by 7 points. Republicans swept the County Council races, however, with former South Jordan Mayor Dave Alvord winning in District 2 by nearly 12 points over Democrat Deborah Gatrell and Dea Theodore securing District 6 by 10 points over Democrat Terri Tapp Hrechkosy.

Republican Laurie Stringham also had a narrow victory over Democratic Council member Shireen Ghorbani, winning the at-large seat by 1,189 votes. Democrat Ann Granato had an uncontested race for her seat in District 4.

In the open seat for county assessor, Republican Chris Stavros edged ahead of Democrat Jennifer Fresques by just over one point. County Treasurer K. Wayne Cushing topped Democratic challenger Michael McDonald by 5 points. County Recorder Rashelle Hobbs, a Democrat, won reelection with a nearly 2-point margin over Republican challenger Erin Preston.

The Salt Lake County Council, acting as the Board of Canvassers, unanimously certified the results late Tuesday afternoon. They praised Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen for her office’s work tallying votes.

“It was a monumental task to conduct this election,” Swensen said.

Her staff and volunteers counted 549,882 ballots — a 90% voter turnout — all while social distancing and maintaining other precautions during the pandemic.

“For those individual who thought we were taking too long, we’ve always had a two-week canvassing period,” Swensen said, adding that early results sometimes change as more ballots are tallied, as was the case in this election.

The statewide canvass will be held Nov. 23, certified by a three-person board made up of the state treasurer, auditor and attorney general.