Salt Lake Tribune - Rolly: Mysterious increase in vote roster: Rolly: Mysterious increase in vote roster
By Paul Rolly
Article Last Updated:11/01/2006 01:14:28 AM MST
Tiny Daggett County in eastern Utah seems to have a population explosion every election season. This year, there are 766 registered voters, which almost matches the county's entire population, according to Census records.
Democrats in the county say there is a reason for that. They say the Republican county clerk has a penchant for allowing Republicans to register, no matter where they live.
Democratic Sheriff Allen Campbell is particularly concerned. His Republican opponent is part-time deputy Rick Ellsworth, whose parents, George and Wanita Ellsworth, apparently have 14 adults living in their home and they all registered to vote using that address.
Critics say people from Hooper, Vernal, Roosevelt and Salt Lake County seem to have swelled the voter registration rolls, and they all seem to have connections to the Republican candidates.
One registered voter was a prison inmate housed in the Daggett County jail when Campbell's predecessor, Gaylen Jarvie, was sheriff. That inmate is now on parole and living in Hooper. Jarvie is supporting Ellsworth.
County Clerk Vickie McKee says the people complaining are the same ones who complained four years ago. She said she was told by the Lieutenant Governor's Office at that time that she couldn't require proof of residency for those who registered in person. She takes voters at their word that they are or will be permanent residents.
One big, happy family: Residents of Lehi have been invited to a Republican rally today featuring Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., Sen. Orrin Hatch, Republican congressional candidate LaVar Christensen and other GOP candidates and elected officials.
There would be nothing unusual about that except the invitation was sent by the mayor of Lehi on Lehi stationery using the Lehi City Corp. mailing address and mailed using Lehi's discount postage stamp.
The back of the flier features a letter from Lehi Mayor Howard Johnson urging residents to vote for a proposed sales tax increase to pay for mass transit in Utah County.
Johnson says he sent the letter out on his own because he couldn't get the City Council to go along with him on the sales tax letter. He used the Lehi City return address but says he is paying for all the expenses, including postage, from his personal account.
So it just appears the city of Lehi is a subsidiary of the Utah Republican Party.