Returned ballots are pictured at the Weber County Elections Office in Ogden on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020.

Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

Utah lawmaker wants to ensure dead voters don't haunt election rolls

By Hannah Petersen, Deseret News | Posted - Jan. 19, 2021 at 7:28 p.m.



SALT LAKE CITY — Utah lawmaker proposes a new mandate that will ensure the removal of dead voters from the election registry.

"Typically, deceased individuals do not receive a ballot in the mail, but I have heard of several cases where it has happened," HB12 sponsor Rep. Mike Winder, R-West Valley City, said. "It seems clear that we need to improve our system for removing deceased individuals from our voter rolls, especially where vote by mail is now the dominant way most votes are cast in Utah."

HB12 would require county clerks work in conjunction with the state or local registrars via the lieutenant governor's office to ensure that the certificate of death for a Utah resident is provided. Once a death certificate is issued, notification to county clerks must be done within five days. Once the clerk receives that death certificate, they have one day to remove the dead person's name and information from the voter rolls.

The bill outlines the process that would create a paper trail that can be audited to make sure all steps have been taken and all offices have complied.

"I am confident that Utah's sound election system can be even better with this more robust practice," Winder said.

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Hannah Petersen

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