State officials in Utah have been inundated with calls and emails from early voters asking to recast their ballot after former Mayor of South Bend Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar announced they would end their presidential campaigns ahead of Super Tuesday.
Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen told Fox News that the county has received “hundreds” of calls, adding that it has been “nonstop” with early voters asking what happens to their ballot if they voted for Klobuchar or Buttiegieg who have since dropped out of the race.
“I mean it’s just sad because so many calls, so many emails – ‘can I have another chance to vote again?’” Swensen told Fox News.
Buttigieg announced his decision to drop out of the race on Sunday followed by Sen. Klobuchar who suspended her campaign on Monday just hours after visiting Utah. Both candidates endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden at a rally in Texas Monday evening.
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A Deseret News/Hinckley Institute of Politics poll released Thursday projected Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders to win Utah with 28% of the vote followed by billionaire Mike Bloomberg at 19% and Buttigieg at 18%.
“When Pete Buttigieg dropped out we had a lot of voters who wanted to know if they could vote over, and later on Amy Klobuchar dropped out,” Swensen said. “But we were already answering phone calls, emails from voters who wanted to know because they had submitted their vote by mail ballot or voted early if they could have a chance to vote over.”
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Unfortunately, there are no redos for those who cast their vote early and their ballot will be tabulated on election night just like everyone else’s. As of Monday, roughly 140,000 early ballots had been returned, according to the Salt Lake County Clerk’s office.
“I mean, we’ve got a lot of phone calls, a lot of emails so addressing those concerns … you know, be here to let people know that, yes, their votes will still count,” Matthew Patterson, Utah Democratic Party Executive Director told Fox News. “I think that’s what most people are wanting to know, I mean, ballots are always going to be counted and we’ll know the turnout.”
Patterson acknowledged that “it’s kind of disappointing” but is also just “how politics goes.”
“That’s how these races go. I know a lot of people have held off for voting for that very reason,” he said.
Utah isn’t the only Super Tuesday state facing concerns amongst early ballot voters.
“We’ve definitely gotten a fair amount of calls and emails,” Steve Hurlbert, assistant communications director for the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office told Fox News. “We’ve been really trying to be proactive and we’ve tried to utilize our social media channels to kind of head off some of those phone calls and emails.”
Hurlbert noted that in Colorado ballots were sent out February 10th and order to certify the ballot there is a deadline of January 3rd — any candidate who failed to withdraw their name from by that date will remain on the ballot.
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“So there is a lengthy list of people who have subsequently pulled out of the race and once ballots went out it was just about educating people,” Hurlbert said.
As of Monday afternoon, 1.2 million early ballots had already been returned in Colorado.
Sam Mahood, press secretary for California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, told Fox News he hasn’t heard of any calls regarding frustrations amongst early voters in California about wanting another chance to vote, however, he underscored the state is very large. California is comprised of 53 congressional districts with 415 pledged delegates.
Abhi Rahman, communications director for the Texas Democratic Party, told Fox News they haven’t received any complaints from voters and have received over a million early votes as of Monday.
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As for both Colorado and Utah, state officials believe the switch to a primary rather than a caucus and being bumped up into Super Tuesday for the first time alongside delegate-rich states like California and Texas will lead to high voter turnout and has given voters a renewed enthusiasm this election despite the last-minute hiccup with some early ballot voters calling for a redo.
“What this has done so far is that because Utah is a Super Tuesday state, although not one of the bigger Super Tuesday states, it has gotten far more attention than it typically gets,” Matthew Burbank, a political science professor at the University of Utah told Fox News.