SALT LAKE CITY — An awkward combination of a close congressional race and a glitch in vote total reporting made for an unusual election night in Utah.
Most races followed expected patterns: strong Republican showings for Utah’s three Congressional incumbents and for the sitting Republican Attorney General and strong Democratic showings in Salt Lake County races for District Attorney and Salt Lake County Sheriff.
Notably, Constitutional Amendment A was trending toward defeat maintaining a system that demands party diversity on the State Tax Commission, suggesting Utahn’s like the concept of two-party cooperation even though they lean strongly Republican.
The Salt Lake City Radisson and Hilton ballrooms hosting the Democratic and Republican election night parties closed down before any conclusive results came in for the open Fourth District seat.
Owens led for most of the night, but the lead rested on quickly reported totals coming in from the Salt Lake County Clerk.
“We have a glitch in the file that Salt Lake County sends us,” said Mark Thomas, elections director in the Lt. Governor’s office.
“It shows whatever is being reported, for example if it’s 127 precincts it will say 127 out of 127,” said Thomas, meaning the precinct totals were too low.
The glitch impacted the reporting of precincts, making it impossible to tell where votes were coming from and what percentage of the vote had been tallied.
Eventually, the Lt. Governor stopped reporting precinct numbers from Salt Lake County while continuing to update the total vote count.