SALT LAKE CITY — Republican voters in Utah's 3rd Congressional District will go to the polls Tuesday to choose a nominee for the special election in November to replace former Rep. Jason Chaffetz.
Municipalities also will hold primary elections in dozens of mayoral and city council races across the state, including in Salt Lake City, Sandy, West Valley City and Provo.
Chaffetz's resignation at the end of June created the first congressional vacancy in Utah since 1929. Of the more than dozen candidates who filed to run, three will be on the GOP primary ballot — Alpine businessman Tanner Ainge, Provo Mayor John Curtis and former state legislator Chris Herrod.
Only registered Republicans may vote in the 3rd District primary. Unaffiliated voters who want to participate may register at their polling places Tuesday.
Municipal elections are open to all registered voters. Polls in the congressional and municipal elections open at 7 a.m. Tuesday and close at 8 p.m. Mail-in ballots must be postmarked by Monday.
Voter information may be found at vote.utah.gov.
Several variables and a couple of firsts for the primary election make projecting voter turnout difficult, said Mark Thomas, state elections director.
This is the first time a congressional election has been tacked on to a municipal election, he said. It also marks the first time Utah County has used mail-in ballots, which got off to a rough start with unaffiliated voters receiving Republican primary ballots.
Also, the congressional candidates and out-of-state political action committees are pouring tons of money into political ads, which might impact turnout in the counties that make up the 3rd District. The district covers Carbon, Emery, Grand, San Juan and Wasatch counites, and parts of Salt Lake and Utah counties.
There is no Democratic primary in the congressional race. Democrats chose their nominee, Sandy doctor Kathie Allen, at their party convention earlier this year. She is already on the November ballot, as are several third-party candidates.