Recount Expected In Utah House Race As Dems Pick Up Two Other Seats | KUER 90.1

Recount Expected In Utah House Race As Dems Pick Up Two Other Seats

Nov 22, 2016

Utah Democrats announced they would seek a recount for the District 32 race between Republican incumbent Lavar Christensen and Democrat Suzanne Harrison. Christensen won by just three votes.

The Salt Lake County Clerk released its final election results on Tuesday night, two weeks after the general election.


A recount is expected in the House District 32 race between incumbent Republican Lavar Christensen and his Democratic challenger Suzanne Harrison.


Harrison was trailing by six votes over the weekend and in the final tally, came up just three short. The Utah Democratic Party announced it will formally request a recount.


Democrats made gains in other races, however, picking up two seats from Republicans in District 31 in West Valley City and District 34, which includes Taylorsville and parts of Murray.


Elizabeth Weight is representative-elect to District 31, and attended the final canvas Tuesday evening at the Salt Lake County Council chambers. She defeated Republican incumbent Sophia DiCaro in another tight race.


Representative-elect Elizabeth Weight, D-West Valley City, speaks to reporters about her win over incumbent Republican Sophia DiCaro.
Credit Julia Ritchey, KUER

  “What made the difference for me is that we knocked on a lot of doors and met a lot of people,” she said. “And we emphasized representation from the perspective of people.”


Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen says overall turnout increased by about 14 percent from the 2012 general election, with about 510,400 votes cast this year.


Although the process went fairly smoothly, Swensen did regret the long lines at some polling sites.   


“I want to send an apology to those individuals who waited in line,” said Swensen. “As an afterthought, I wish we had had more vote centers. We had a large number of provisional ballots, and it slowed things down immensely.”


Swensen said despite reports of some misinformation about the vote-by-mail process, a majority of Salt Lake voters, about 84 percent, ended up using the paper ballot.


In person early voting, by comparison, was down. Only 3 percent of residents took advantage of the 17 polling sites that were open early, another possible factor that contributed to long lines on election day.


[View final results here.]