‘We’re prepared’: Utah County election officials make improvements to prevent past problems

PROVO — Election officials in Utah County said they have made improvements to prevent issues that have plagued the county in the past.

After polling locations experienced long lines lasting more than three hours on midterm election night in 2018, Governor Gary Herbert criticized Utah County as the “epicenter of dysfunction.”

For next month’s general election, the county’s new clerk/auditor promises things will be better.

“When you look at what I’ve been able to accomplish in a short amount of time, it’s because I was able to secure the resources for the equipment and literally the best team in the state,” said Utah County Clerk/Auditor Amelia Powers Gardner.

Since Powers Gardner took office in 2019, she’s hired new staff and purchased new ballot-counting machines. She said they now have the largest scanners in the state, which can process 600 ballots per minute.

“I’ve worked tirelessly to make sure that my staff has the resources they need to serve those people,” she said.

Powers Gardner is expecting a lot of people to show up at polling locations on November 3 because this will be Utah County’s first presidential election with vote-by-mail and she worries that some may not be used to it.

“We have over-prepared for the people we expect at the polls,” she said. “We know that we’re going to have a lot. We’re prepared to serve three times the number people at the polls that voted in 2018.”

For those voting in person, she’s also implementing a new system to let voters check-in using their phones.

Utah County Clerk/Auditor Amelia Powers Gardner talks to KSL about improvements Utah County has made to prevent voting delays. (Photo: KSL TV)

“Then you can go wait in the comfort of your own car, listen to your own music, and when it’s your

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Philippine Consulate in Dubai undergoes renovation to prevent spread of COVID-19

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New modular service counters provide an extra layer of protection to curb the spread of COVID-19 at the consulate.
Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The Philippine Consulate General in Dubai has recently undergone renovations and has introduced new modular service counters to provide an extra layer of protection to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The reception area, passport processing section, passport coordinator’s office, encoding section, notarial processing section and the Assistance-to-Nationals (ATN) section are among the nine offices that were renovated with office modular partitions, Philippine consul-general Paul Raymund Cortes told Gulf News.

“While the Consulate strives to creatively accommodate the demand for consular services by our kababayan (compatriots) here in Dubai and the Northern Emirates during this time of pandemic, we also aim to provide them comfort and safety while they are inside the Consulate premises. We would like to welcome them to an improved Consulate,” Cortes said. “More importantly, we want to make sure that if and when they are at the consulate, there is minimal physical interaction and enough distancing between clients and our personnel so there is less risk of spreading the virus among themselves,” he underlined.

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The renovation is part of the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs’ (DFA) commitment to provide better facilities and services.
Image Credit: Supplied

Cortes said the physical renovation of the consulate is part of the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs’ (DFA) commitment to provide better facilities and services to  overseas Filipinos and in adherence to UAE’s call for a responsible return to a ‘new normal’.

How to reach the Philippine Consulate

* WhatsApp — +971 56 4177558
* ATN Section — +971 56 5015755/ +971 56 5015756
Email Addresses:
* Civil Registry Unit (CRU) / Report of Birth and Death: [email protected]
* Notarials: [email protected]
*Passport Renewal: [email protected]
* Passport Releasing: [email protected]

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