|One of Carbon's registered voters casts a ballot in the 2004 election at the county courthouse on Tuesday. Local residents re-elected Mike Milovich to serve an additional term on the Carbon County Commission, while voters in Sunnyside defeated a proposal to consolidate the town with East Carbon City at the Nov. 2 polls.|
Tuesday was a long night for candidates and Carbon County voters who supported or opposed various ballot questions.
Around 8 p.m., local candidates and supporters started to filter into the Carbon County courthouse to track the results of local, state and national elections.
At the same time, voting officials began to receive and count ballots from the 23 precincts in the county. The work continued until almost 1 a.m. on Wednesday.
As Wednesday morning dawned, it became obvious that Republicans had swept many of the statewide offices and gained territory in some areas.
Locally, incumbents managed to retain elected offices. Carbon County Commissioner Mike Milovich beat challenger Gerald Lloyd, with 4,951 voted to 3,171.
In the Utah House of Representatives race for a vacant District 67 seat, Democrat Walt Borla lost to Patrick Painter by a margin of 6,654 to 3389.
Utah House District 67 encompasses about one-third of the electorate in the county.
The part of the district situated in Carbon voted to put Borla in the job, 1,609 to 747. But ballots cast in areas in Sanpete, Utah and Juab counties overwhelmed Carbon's numbers.
Democratic Utah Senator Mike Dmitrich retained the District 27 position by beating Republican Phillip Peay from Mapleton, 16,201 to 11,674
During the early evening Dmitrich had a significant lead in the Utah Senate District 27 race, supported primarily by votes coming in from counties east of the Wasatch Plateau.
But the Utah County precincts did not report until later in the night and the totals brought Peay closer to the incumbent. Carbon County went for Dmitrich by almost a four to one ratio, 6,331 to 1,596.
In the local Utah House race, Rep. Brad King was unopposed and took in 8,370 votes from throughout District 69.
In the Second District congressional race, Jim Matheson was re-elected to United States House of Representatives by beating Republican John Swallow, 175,412 to 129,044.
Carbon County strongly supported Matheson by casting 5,619 votes for the incumbent, compared to the challenger's 2,547.
In the United States Senate race, incumbent Republican Bob Bennett crushed Democrat Paul Van Dam's candidacy with a 566,609 to 243,054 defeat.
Carbon County voters went for Bennett giving the incumbent 4,122 votes compared to Van Dam's 3,761.
In the governor's race, Republican Jon Huntsman won by a 75,560 to 359,738 margin over Scott Matheson Jr.
Carbon County went strongly for Matheson by giving the candidate 5,049 votes compared to Huntsman's 3,172.
One ballot question that drew the most attention locally was the concept of consolidating East Carbon with Sunnyside to form one city.
While the total 356 to 323 vote count in the two towns favored the move, Utah law only allows consolidation if separate majorities in cities support the proposal.
At the local election polls, Sunnyside voters defeated the consolidation measure by a margin of 105 to 65 votes.
State measures included on the 2004 election ballots also drew the attention of Carbon County residents.
In Carbon County, 4,855 voters cast ballots in favor of amendment three, while 3,055 citizens opposed the proposal.
Statewide, the so-called marriage amendment passed by a 564,997 to 294,312 margin.
State and county voters also supported the passage of amendment one, which would give the Utah Legislature more power in the impeachment process.
Statewide, the vote was 557,709 in favor of the measure compared to 248,263 opposing the change in the Utah Constitution.
The numbers for Carbon County were similar, with 4,762 ballots supporting passage and 2,686 voters opposing amendment one.
In addition, Utahns approved amendment two, which would allow public colleges to use research the schools have developed as an investment tool in private business also was approved with 457,675 voting yes and 338,685 voting no in the state. In Carbon County however, voters decided they didn't like this amendment and voted no 3,908 times, while only 3,433 said yes.
Another measure on the ballot was Initiative 1. If passed that measure would have taken 1/20 of a cent of sales tax to apply to various clean air, clean water and open space projects across the state. However, in the last few weeks of the time leading up the election, many prominent people and groups came out against this initiative. Consequently it lost as 450,408 voters cast ballots against it as opposed to 366,180 who cast ballots for it. Carbon voters also defeated it, voting 4,245 against and 3,341 for.
The Carbon County School Board also had some seats up for grabs in this election. Robert Barry Deeter ran unopposed and took in 867 votes to carry District 1 to take the seat Walt Borla abandoned to take up the challenge of running for the state house or representatives.
In District 2, Debra Blackburn ran unopposed too, and garnered 1,156 votes, holding onto the seat she has held for two years.
District 3 was the only seat on the school board that had two candidates contesting it. Incumbent Grady McEvoy won his seat back, beating Bruce M. Quinton 629 to 470.
Also on the ballot were four Utah Supreme Court Justices who were all retained along with local Judge Bryce Bryner from the Seventh District Court. Voters in the district voted to keep Bryner 13,697 to 3145. In Carbon County he received 5,484 to retain his services, while 1,153 voted against him.
Of course the headliner of the election was the presidential race. Nationally George Bush won reelection, and the same was true for Carbon County where he got 4,856 votes compared to John Kerry who received 3,378.
The turnout on election day turned out to be near 60 percent of the registered voters in the county. Altogether there were 8,532 ballots cast in Carbon County out of 14,646 registered voters.