A week before the 2022 midterm elections, some voters in two Utah counties still are waiting on their ballots to arrive in their mailboxes.
Mail-in ballots in Iron and Carbon counties have been delayed due to a distribution issue at an out-of-state sorting facility, according to the lieutenant governor’s office.
Jackson Murphy, a spokesperson for the Lt. Governor’s Office, told The Salt Lake Tribune that their office was notified of the counties’ issues around the time ballots were supposed to be sent out on Oct. 18.
Iron County Clerk Jon Whittaker said the county’s ballots were sent to a Las Vegas facility to be stuffed and sorted. Without notification, the company handling the ballots sent the ballots to a facility in Texas, according to an Iron County notice provided to The Salt Lake Tribune.
From there, the ballots were mixed in with roughly 3,000 trays of regular mail — which roughly translates to around 1,000,000 pieces of mail, Whittaker said. Ballots are supposed to be treated differently than regular mail when sent through the U.S. Postal Service, Murphy explained.
“There are several aspects of what happened that are inappropriate,” the Iron County notice said. “We will no longer employ that printer.”
Much of the delayed ballots are now in Utah, Murphy said, and are being sorted in Utah County. As of Tuesday, Murphy said there are roughly 12,000 ballots in Iron County that have not yet been sent out to voters.
“Provo has been slowly sorting through all that mail, and pulling out ballots when they find them, and then, of course, pushing them to those counties,” Murphy said.
Seth Marsing, Carbon County Clerk/Auditor, said Tuesday that ballots are supposed to be sent in bulk through priority mail, but the county’s ballots have slowly trickled in this fall.
“It’s been a huge issue for us,” Marsing said.
While Marsing, Whittaker and Murphy said there is concern about a potential time crunch for voters ahead of Election Day on Nov. 8, all three stressed that voters worried about getting their ballots in time have the option to vote early this week.
In Carbon County, Marsing said voters can stop by the clerk/auditor’s office to cast their ballot. Carbon County voters looking for more information or who still need a ballot to be mailed are encouraged to call the clerk/auditor’s office at 435-636-3224.
For Iron County, the county clerk’s office is offering extended hours at early voting locations, Whittaker said, and that the lieutenant governor’s office has been sending staff to Iron County to help wherever possible.
Iron County voters can vote early in three places: the county’s courthouse, located at 68 S. 100 East in Parowan; 10 N. Main Street in Cedar City; and 900 East Midvalley Road in Enoch. To contact the Iron County Clerk’s Office with questions or additional information, call 435-477-8340.