Shurtleff may be forced to cast provisional ballot from hospital bed

Chris Rizo Nov. 4, 2008, 11:00am

Mark Shurtleff (R)

SALT LAKE CITY (Legal Newsline)-Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff hopes to vote today despite being hospitalized for a staph infection, his spokesman told Legal Newsline.

"He's hoping to get out of the hospital, go home, shower, shave and get to the poll," his spokesman, Paul Murphy, said Tuesday.

The two-term Republican attorney general is running for reelection.

Shurtleff, 51, is being challenged by Democrat Jean Welch Hill, an attorney for the state Board of Education, and Libertarian W. Andrew McCullough, a First Amendment lawyer.

Polls indicate that Shurtleff will handily win a third term as the Beehive State's chief legal officer.

Murphy said if the attorney general is not able to get to the polls, there is a possibility he could cast a provisional ballot from his hospital bed.

Shurtleff checked into the hospital Saturday afternoon. His infection is related to a surgery he underwent in August to repair damage a shattered leg sustained from an accident last year at a charity motorcycle ride.

Bone scans taken this weekend show that the leg is healing slowly, with the help of a series of metal halos with wires and pins anchoring the bones, Murphy said.

"Scans show that there is bone growth there, so the strange contraption on his leg is working," he said. "It just makes him prone to staph infections."

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo at

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