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Front Page » November 18, 2003 » Local News » is It Emery, UT or Emery, Fl?
Published 3,900 days ago

is It Emery, UT or Emery, Fl?


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By HEATHER MAY
Salt Lake Tribune

It was clear the race for a council seat in the small central Utah town of Emery was tight on Election Day. So naturally, somebody decided to get out the vote.

Unfortunately, that "somebody" was the election judge.

Maybe three election judges. And their phone calls may have altered the outcome of one of the two council races.

When the judges saw that council candidates Donald J. Riddle and Patrick N. Sundstrom were in a dead heat, they called residents they knew had not been to the polls and urged them to cast votes, according to a letter sent this week by Emery Mayor Michael Williams, to the Lieutenant Governor's Office, which oversees elections.

Riddle bested Sundstrom by two votes, joining candidate Gary Lee Jensen to become the towns new council members.

It is unclear if the judges called people hoping to help one candidate over the other. But they didn't have many people to call. About 350 people live in the town; 240 are registered voters and 115 votes were cast.

Regardless, a resident is protesting the election results in court, with the blessing of city leaders.

"The election wasn't fair, said Russell Taylor, who planned to file an affidavit with the 7th District Court in Castle Dale. "People die for our rights to vote. We should take every measure to make sure these laws are followed."

He is hoping a judge will throw out the ballots of the people who were urged to vote.

"I feel bad for the judges, I feel bad for the town-the blot on the town," said Williams. "We're not hiding anything. We want it exposed. We want it in court.


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