Low turnout, but municipal elections decide big issues in Utah

Posted at 6:45 PM, Nov 04, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-04 20:45:02-05

WEST VALLEY CITY -- A handful of people could decide some big -- and expensive -- issues in municipal elections here in Utah.

Election clerks are anticipating low voter turnout at Tuesday's municipal elections, where expensive bond issues are on many ballots.

The Utah County Clerk's Office expects 15% turnout countywide, except in Orem where a property tax hike to pay for UTOPIA is on the ballot. There, clerks said, voter turnout is expected to reach 40%.

In Davis County, only 4,600 votes were cast in 15 cities using the "early voting" method. In Kaysville, residents are being asked to decide Proposition 5, which would dictate how municipal power funds are spent.

Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen told FOX 13 she anticipates voter turnout to be around 25% where cities are deciding whether to approve a massive $495 million bond for schools and renovations in the Jordan School District.

The Cache County town of Hyde Park has an unusual ballot issue: Residents of the town (population 4,000) will vote on whether to lift a longstanding ban on alcohol sales, allowing the town's only convenience store to sell beer.

Across the state, voters will elect members of their city council, mayor and municipal boards. In West Valley City, two candidates are vying to be the mayor of the second largest city in Utah.

West Valley City Councilwoman Karen Lang is running against former state representative Ron Bigelow for the mayor's seat, replacing Mike Winder, who decided not to seek re-election.

For more on the candidates, see the video above.