Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen fears Democrats and unaffiliated voters could be turned away at the polls for the June 24 primary election.

Since Democrats can't vote in the closed Republican primaries, Swensen is worried poll workers might turn away Democrats and unaffiliated voters who want to vote in the nonpartisan school board races.

The Democratic county clerk is making an extra effort to remind poll workers that Democrats and unaffiliated voters can vote in the school board races.

"We're training them really thoroughly," Swensen said. "Hopefully they'll get it with the effort we've gone through separating these different types of elections."

Basic poll worker training includes a three-hour basic class and a three-hour advanced training session. If the poll workers still don't feel comfortable, they are welcome to come back in, since "practice makes perfect," Swensen said.

Poll workers can also brush up on their pre-June 24 primary election training by taking an online poll worker training course.

But Swensen isn't stopping there.

She's sending out a special notice to all poll workers in the days leading up to the election, with specific details on what race will be voted on in each worker's polling place.

That, in combination with all the training tools, should be enough to thwart any election-day problems, Swensen said.

"If they don't get it from that, I really don't know what else I can do," Swensen said.

County Democratic party leaders aren't worried.

"We're quite confident in Sherrie's ability to train her poll workers," vice chairman Justin Miller said.

Everyone can vote in the nonpartisan school board races.

Two seats on the Granite School Board are up for grabs, one seat on the Salt Lake City School District Board, four in the Jordan West School District and two on the new board for Jordan East.

Despite the fact the Democrats don't have a contested race, "it doesn't mean we don't have something at stake," the county Democratic Party's Web site says.

Republicans have a few races they can vote in on June 24.

All Republicans can vote in the state treasurer primary runoff. Voters in the 3rd Congressional District will have to decide if Chris Cannon or Jason Chaffetz will be the Republican nominee. Legislative District 20 is the only other Republican contest, where newcomer Becky Edwards is trying to unseat incumbent Rep. Paul Neuenschwander, R-Bountiful. That district includes portions of northern Salt Lake County.

Unaffiliated voters can switch their status on the day of the election and vote in the closed Republican primary.


E-mail: [email protected]