SPANISH FORK, Utah—Primary voters in Utah County headed to the polls on June 28 to choose between incumbents or chart a new direction with candidates for change in the U.S. House and Senate.
At Spanish Fork Senior Centern, in the heavily Republican county, voting was smooth and consistent for most of the morning.
Chris Merrill of Mapleton, a registered Republican, said he voted for incumbent U.S. Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) because “I like what he did.”
“I wish he would continue to do that,” Merrill told The Epoch Times in an exit poll. “I didn’t feel much sincerity in [Republican opponent] Becky Edwards. I think if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I feel like he is doing a good job.
Merrill said he votes in every election, but in this election the main issue is “the economy.”
“I believe the economy is important. I think voting is important. I’m not a big fan of the red flag [gun control] laws.”
A red flag law allows someone to petition a state court to order the confiscation of firearms if a person is deemed dangerous to themselves or others.
Merrill said he was also pro-life, which factored into his decision to vote in this election.
A woman who did not want her name used voted by mail for Lee as a Trump Republican.
“My daughter and I did it together. I went Republican all the way,” the woman told The Epoch Times.
The voter said there was no reason to vote for Edwards, a former Utah state representative, or business executive Ally Isom.
“[Lee] did a good job,” she said. “I am satisfied with everything.”
“You want to know the truth [why I voted]? My daughter said so.
“The way I see it, the way it’s going to be, that’s how it’s going to be,” the voter said of Roe v. Wade, an issue she considers crucial in this election. Yet the violence of abortion advocates is “ridiculous.”
“They should just be big enough to accept what is. They’re not going to change it,” the woman said.
A Utah County voter, who wished to remain anonymous, said he switched from an unaffiliated voter to a Republican so he could vote for Edwards in the primary.
“I’m not a Lee fan at all,” he told The Epoch Times. “The party is in a big mess. I think Becky Edwards is fantastic.
“I think a lot of good things are happening and a lot of changes need to be made. I trust Becky. I know her personally and I trust her completely.
The voter sees this election as critical in this “time of polarization”.
Utah County voter Justin Craig said he voted for Becky Edwards.
“Just getting some change and a little more moderation in the Republican Party is kind of the big thing there,” he told The Epoch Times.
Craig said he switched to the Utah Republican Party to vote in the statewide primary.
“Before that, I was unaffiliated, but with Utah rules, most things are Republican to get your voice heard,” Craig said.
Craig said he also voted for Republican Jake Hunsaker in the US House of Representatives rather than incumbent Burgess Owens (R).
“I think with the recent bipartisan gun bill that has recently passed there may be changes and work across the aisle. It’s the hope of finding a good representative for Utah,” Craig said.
He sees voting as a civic duty.
“I teach at school. I tell my fourth graders [to] promise me when they turn 18 they will vote. It is their right, and [their] responsibility. So [it’s] in a way give this example and make my voice heard.
Utah County voters Stanley Glazner, a constitutional conservative, and his wife Valerie Glazner, also a Republican, said they voted for Lee to serve another term in the U.S. Senate to represent Utah.
“Oh my God, not Edwards,” Valerie Glazner said. “She pushes to vote by telephone.”
Regarding the direct Republican vote, she expressed concern about the number of RINO politicians (Republicans in name only) in Congress. Although Utah election officials “made it look safe,” mail-in voting was a problem.
Stanley Glazner said he hoped positive change would come out of the midterm elections at the local, state and federal levels.
“[But] if you have corrupt politicians in power, they won’t do anything,” Glazner said.
No Democratic Party candidate was running in Utah County.