5 Spot 

Random questions, surprising answers

Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen is serving her fourth four-year term. She reminds citizens to vote on Nov. 7. The last day to register by mail is Oct. 10. Or in person at the clerk’s office, the deadline is Oct. 23 at 5 p.m. (or 8 p.m. at a designated satellite location.) Visit clerk.slco.org for locations.


How many marriage licenses do you process?


Approximately 10,000 per year. August is our busiest month. We perform about 1,500 ceremonies annually in the office, from elderly couples in their 80s to young soldiers being deployed to Iraq. I once performed a ceremony over the telephone between a county employee and a soldier stationed in Iraq during Desert Storm.


What records can the public view at your office?


We have marriage records dating back to 1887. Through the Government Records Access Management Act, the public may view marriage licenses (but not applications). Voter registration forms are also public information, with the last four digits of the Social Security and driver license numbers redacted for privacy. The Council Clerk retains the County Council’s official actions.


Do you like the newfangled voting machines?


The new touch-screen voting equipment was brought by the Federal Help America Vote Act. The new machines are complex for poll workers and the election administration, and they are expensive in terms of storage and preparation. The benefits are that they allow people with disabilities to vote independently. Voters can review their choices. Machines also notify voters if they missed an opportunity to vote but prevent them from overvoting.


What is the biggest challenge you face overseeing the upcoming election?


To acquire and train poll workers. Training used to be conducted in 18 sessions by two staff members; it now requires more than 200 sessions. The logic and accuracy testing must be conducted on nearly 3,000 touch-screen voting machines instead of just four punch-card readers under the old system.

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Jerre Wroble

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