Laura Seitz, KSL, File

Here's what you need to know to vote

By Carter Williams, KSL.com | Posted - Oct 9th, 2018 @ 8:01pm



SALT LAKE CITY — Residents in 27 Utah counties will soon receive their ballots for the upcoming general election.

Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen said about 482,000 ballots were sent from Salt Lake County, Utah’s most populous county, to the post office Monday for the Nov. 6 election. Since Monday was a holiday, the post office didn’t start processing the ballots for delivery until Tuesday.

Those who have already registered to vote will receive their ballots starting this week. Mail ballots were expected to be sent to all counties, except for Carbon and Emery counties, sometime between Monday and Oct. 16, according to the Utah Lieutenant Governor’s Office.

However, Salt Lake County will continue to mail out ballots to those who register by Oct. 30, Swensen added.

All ballots returned by mail must be postmarked by Nov. 5, but Utahns can still submit mail ballots through polling locations and designated return boxes until 8 p.m. Nov. 6.

For those voting on Election Day, residents can find their polling locations by typing in their address at vote.utah.gov. The website also provides information about the candidates on their ballot.

State residents should also contact their local county clerk's office for dates and locations for early voting.

Swensen’s office previously mailed out letters to all registered voters in Salt Lake County with instructions of how to vote through the mail-in system and a list of all the Salt Lake County drop box locations. She said the biggest issue her office has seen is people not signing the voter affidavit section on the return envelopes.

“We can’t count their ballot unless they sign that affidavit,” she said.

Those who have recently moved will have to make sure they receive a ballot for their new residence because ballots can’t be forwarded in the mail, she added.

Voter registration deadlines

The Utah Lieutenant Governor's Office released a commercial this week urging people to register to vote. It stated that Utah was 39th in voter turnout during the 2016 election.

That statistic came from a report filed by the U.S. Elections Project in 2017, which found that 57.7 percent of eligible Utah voters cast ballots during the election. Minnesota led the U.S. at 74.8 percent and Hawaii was last at 43 percent.

Tuesday is the deadline for Utahns to register to vote by mail. However, residents can still register to vote online and in person at any county clerk’s office through Oct. 30.

Those who procrastinate until the last second can also register to vote at a polling location on Election Day, given that they provide a valid identification and a proof of residency, such as a utility bill. This has never been the case with any Utah election before, Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox said in a recent press conference.

“They fill out a form, we then verify that they provided the information they needed to and their ballot would be counted during the canvassing process the two weeks after the election,” Swensen explained.

Related:

Absentee ballots

All absentee ballot application forms must be filed with a county clerk's office by Oct. 30, according to Utah Elections. Military and overseas ballots have already been mailed and other by-mail ballots will be sent by Oct. 16.

Absentee ballot forms can be found here along with county clerk addresses. It can also be done online.

Election reminders

There are a couple of ways people can receive reminders about the upcoming election, as well as information about what will be on the ballot. People can sign up with TurboVote from Democracy Works. The service allows people to receive voter deadline alerts to their email or phone and also includes a step-by-step process on how to vote.

There's also the aforementioned vote.gov.org, which also explains how to vote.

Free Uber rides on Election Day

Uber announced on Thursday it would waive fees for rides to polling locations across the U.S. They also added voter registration resources for riders in its app.

More information can be found here.

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