SPANISH FORK, Utah—Utah County primary voters went to the polls on June 28 to choose between incumbents or to chart a new direction with candidates for change in the U.S. House and Senate.
At the Spanish Fork Senior Centern in the heavily Republican county, voting was steady and consistent throughout most of the morning.
Chris Merrill of Mapleton, a registered Republican, said he voted for incumbent U.S. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) because, “I like what he’s done.”
“I’d like him to continue doing it,” Merrill told The Epoch Times in an exit poll. “I didn’t feel a lot of sincerity in [Republican opponent] Becky Edwards. I feel that if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. I feel he’s doing good work.”
Merrill said he votes in every election, but in this election, the driving issue is “the economy.”
“I believe the economy is important. I think voting is important. I’m not a big fan of 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 considered dangerous to himself or others.
Merrill said he’s also pro-life, which factored into his decision to vote in this election.
A woman who didn’t want her name used voted mail-in ballot for Lee as a Trump Republican.
“My daughter and I did it together. I did 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] has been doing a pretty good job,” she said. “I’m satisfied with everything.”
“You want to know the truth [why I voted]? My daughter said so.
“The way I look at it, the way it’s going to be is the way it’s going to be,” the voter said regarding Roe v. Wade, an issue which she considers crucial in this election. Still, violence from pro-abortion advocates is “ridiculous.”
“They ought to just be grown up 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 being an unaffiliated voter to 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 there are a lot of good things happening, and a lot of change that needs to be made. I trust Becky. I know her personally and trust her completely.”
The voter sees this election as critical in this “polarizing time.”
Utah County voter Justin Craig, said he cast his vote for Becky Edwards.
“Just kind of getting a change and little bit more of a moderate feel in the Republican Party is kind of the main 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 the rules in Utah most things are Republican to get your voice heard,” Craig said.
Craig said he also voted for Republican Jake Hunsaker for the U.S. House of Representatives over the incumbent Burgess Owens (R).
“I feel with the recent bipartisan gun bill that recently passed, there can be change and working across the aisle. That’s the hope—finding a good representative for Utah,” Craig said.
He considers voting a civic duty.
“I teach school. I tell my fourth-grade students [to] promise me that when they turn 18 they’ll vote. That’s their right, and [their] responsibility. So [it’s] kind of giving that example and letting my voice be 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 gosh, not Edwards,” Valerie Glazner said. “She is pushing to vote on phone voting.”
Regarding voting straight-ticket Republican, she said she’s concerned about the number of RINOs (Republican In Name Only) politicians in Congress. Although Utah election officials “made it sound secure,” mail-in voting was an issue.
Stanley Glazner said he’s hopeful positive change will come out of the mid-term election at the local, state, and federal levels.
“[But] if you have corrupt politicians in power, they aren’t going to do anything,” Glazner said.
There were no candidates from the Democratic Party standing in Utah County.