Steady stream of Washington County voters trickles into polls for GOP primary

A voter casts her GOP primary ballot at Bloomington Hills Elementary, St. George, Utah, June 26, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

WASHINGTON COUNTY — Republican voters took to the polls in Tuesday’s primary, casting their ballots for U.S. Senate, Utah House and Washington County Commission candidates.

Volunteer poll workers at Bloomington Hills Elementary, St. George, Utah, June 26, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

Poll workers at Bloomington Hills Elementary, which covers St. George precincts 29 and 30, reported a steady stream of voters throughout the first half of the day. About 30 people had cast their ballots in the first hour after the polls opened at 7 a.m. By 2:30 p.m., the number of ballots cast at that location exceeded 220.

At the Washington County School District warehouse, the polling location for St. George precincts 27 and 28, poll workers reported about 20 voters during the first hour and nearly 150 by 2:30 p.m.

The clock is ticking

Polls are open until 8 p.m. Click here for the county’s precinct map, or visit vote.utah.gov to check where you should vote.

Read more: Make your voice heard; Your guide to voting in Southern Utah’s midterm primaries 

Washington County GOP voters are joining with others statewide in deciding between Mitt Romney and Mike Kennedy to run as the Republican nominee in November for the U.S. Senate.

Washington County’s County Commission Seat A is also up for grabs, with Gil Almquist and Allen J. Davis both seeking to succeed Zachary Renstrom as commissioner.

Voters in the eastern portions of Washington and Iron counties are also deciding between incumbent Rep. Brad Last and challenger Mark Borowiak in the Utah House District 71 race.

Preliminary Washington County election results posted on the county clerk/auditor’s website at 4:30 p.m. showed Romney, Almquist and Last winning in their respective races. Later in the day, however, the preliminary results were removed. In their place was this statement: “Stay tune (sic). Election has started. Posted results will appear as voting precincts deliver their ballots,” followed by, “Results are scheduled to begin posting online on Tuesday, June 26, 2018, at 8:30pm Mountain Time.”

Tuesday’s voters

Even though their ballots had just two races on them, one husband-wife couple said they felt they were fulfilling their civic duty.

“We always vote, every time,” the woman said as she exited the polls. “If you don’t vote, you don’t have a say in anything.”

Another couple at a different polling place shared similar sentiments. “It’s what we do,” said the husband. “We never miss it. It’s important,” added his wife.

A man identifying himself as “Hawk” talks to St. George News after voting in the GOP primary election, Bloomington Hills Elementary, St. George, Utah, June 26, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

One man at the Bloomington Hills Elementary voting location took his pet “sugar glider” marsupials in with him to vote. He identified himself simply as “Hawk” and said he was a Native American and a military veteran.

Hawk said he voted to show his support for the government and said he’d like to see less political divisiveness.

“Why can’t we not have labels like African American, Native American and Hispanic American? Why can’t we all just be Americans?” he said.

Elsewhere in St. George, at the Parks Division office, multiple Precinct 42 voters reported being concerned with issues such as taxes, water, population growth and the candidates’ stances on gun control.

Voting was brisk all morning at the Southern Utah Veterans Home in Ivins, the second largest voting precinct in the county.

“It’s been very busy, especially for an off year,” an election official said. “And, since there’s only two races, it’s very surprising.”

Joe Purdue, of Ivins, said he hasn’t missed a voting day for more than 60 years because “it’s the thing to do.”

“I think voting is an obligation,” said Bonnie Harrington, of Ivins. “It’s what makes our government work.”

St. George News reporters Spencer Ricks and Ryan Rees contributed to this report.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect that the preliminary Washington County election results posted on the county clerk/auditor’s website Tuesday afternoon were later removed.

Email: jrichards@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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8 Comments

  • cmjazz June 26, 2018 at 5:49 pm

    You shouldn’t be posting preliminary results. I suggest you take those down as they are not allowed.

  • cmjazz June 26, 2018 at 5:50 pm

    Also, as you can see the county took them down on their website. Those results could be wrong. Please remove that statement.

  • comments June 26, 2018 at 7:14 pm

    let’s see if Mittens can trigger a mormon surge the same way our dear crypt keeper orrin hatch has achieved for the last, what is it now, 200 or so years? Why are my fellow LDS’ers so gullible?

    • Striker4 June 26, 2018 at 11:34 pm

      HA HA you lost and Romney won. ! ha ha ha

  • Close The Borders June 26, 2018 at 8:24 pm

    Of course, SnitMitt is going to win! He needs another Income Stream, and Utah is the perfect place! He thinks Utahns are stupid and vote for him on his looks and his line of BS!
    Here goes Utah down the drain, just like he did in MA! He ruined THAT state, and he will ruin this one!

    • comments June 26, 2018 at 11:31 pm

      ” He thinks Utahns are stupid and vote for him on his looks and his line of BS!”

      isn’t that about the same reason utahns have voted in orrin for the last 4+ decades (well maybe not so much for looks, save for those that like the crypt keeper look 😉 )

  • utahdiablo June 26, 2018 at 10:33 pm

    In our local community ( of 4.500 ) they had 15 voters from 7 am until 9 am, so don’t … about anything if you don’t bother to Vote..
    Ed. ellipsis

  • Brendon June 27, 2018 at 3:40 am

    Its embarrassing to know that my fellow “Utahns” took the bait and decided to COMPLETELY FORFEIT one of our Senate seats to a man that ISNT FROM HERE AND ESTABLISHED RESIDENCY ONE YEAR AGO. A carpet bagger using our state to propel his own agenda. ITS SHAMEFUL AND EMBARRASSING.

    WAKE UP PEOPLE!

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