Utah Counties Switch To Mail-in Balloting System
The first Tuesday in November is notorious for long lines to tap a few buttons, cast a vote, and possibly change the future course of our state. Depending on where you live, you may not be waiting in line to cast your vote in November.
Several counties across Utah are doing it: mail-in ballots- for everyone, not just the absentee voters. This isn't new, but several counties are trying it for the first time this year.
Brian Stephenson is the clerk for Beaver County, and says the county did a test run of the mail-in system during the June primaries, and they will be doing it again in November.
"We had a couple expectations going in. In the short-term, we hope to increase our voter turnout, which we got approximately 250 percent more voter participation than we would have traditionally expected during a party primary, and in the long term we hope to reduce costs quite substantially, based on the reduced number of pieces of equipment we'll have to service and maintenance over the years," he said.
Cache County Clerk Jill Zollinger says the county council asked about the feasibility of mail-in ballots because of low voter turnout in the June Primaries. She also said there are security measures in place.
“We have to match up the signature that we have on file her for the voter. We capture the signatures when they either register to vote or if they're older registrations, when they've voted. We capture those signatures and each ballot that comes back is checked,” she said.
Ballots can be mailed in, or dropped off at the County Clerk’s office. In Cache County, there are drop sites across the valley. Stephenson said there is another option in Beaver.
"We in Beaver county allow somebody to go to a central voting location and take their ballot and vote it there if they choose to, rather than requiring everyone to return by mail, just to help the transition and make people feel more comfortable," Stephenson said.
For more information about voting procedure in your area, visit the County Clerk webpage. Below is a partial list of counties participating in the mail-in system.