A snake is seen at the new Cache County Ballot Processing Center in Logan. Deputy Chief Clerk Bryson Behm told KSL on Wednesday they caught six snakes there. (Bryson Behm)
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LOGAN – Where democracy will be put into action this election cycle in Cache County, Utah, there’s a problem: snakes.
After a new home was chosen for the county’s ballot processing center, it didn’t take long to discover snakes and snake skeletons.
“When people said going into government was full of snakes, I didn’t know they literally meant it,” Cache County Clerk Jess Bradfield joked. “Nobody wants to walk into an election center and have a snake crawling on their leg.”
Bradfield said entering a new space for county ballots was already behind the game, even though the process had been underway for about a year and a half.
“Where we used to deal with ballots was really almost a closet,” Bradfield said. The new location is at Logan-Cache Airport, which the county hopes to keep for the foreseeable future, but also where there was a snake problem.
“We were like ‘Oh, there were snakes here. It’s so random,” deputy chief clerk Bryson Behm said. Then more popped up in mousetraps.
“We caught six snakes, and they’re pretty big. They’re gartersnakes, so nothing terrible, but you know, they’re still snakes.”
The building previously housed equipment for a search and rescue team.
“We actually had an employee walking around, and a snake just looked through the wall, and looked under the wall and said hello, and it scared her,” Bradfield said.
“Yeah, we knew there were a lot of snakes at that point when we started seeing them coming out of walls, coming out of doors, all the holes in there.”
An effort has been made to remove unwanted animals from the walls of the facility and to seal off entry points.
“And while I was showing them the holes, we were looking at the ceiling and we noticed that there was actually a snake hanging from the ceiling.”
We knew there were a lot of snakes…when we started seeing them coming out of walls, coming out of doors, all the holes in there.
–Jess Bradfield, Cache County Clerk
As those with a fear of snakes can imagine, some election officials said they would not work at the facility until the snakes were gone. But with the primaries in June, the county is on edge.
With a compressed schedule, an effort is underway to protect the building from serpentine invaders and to relocate some of them to a nearby area.