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Salt Lake City Expects High Voter Participation With Vote by Mail

Whittney Evans
Roseanne Mitchell, director of elections for Salt Lake County speaks to the press on Monday.

Primary election ballots were shipped out to many Salt Lake County residents today. Election officials say the switch to an exclusively vote-by-mail election should double voter turnout in Salt Lake City.

Every city in Salt Lake County except for West Valley City and Taylorsville have moved to vote-by-mail elections this year. That means no more neighborhood polling places and no lines.

“So you truly can vote in your pajamas at two in the morning and then go drop it off at the ballot box at four in the morning,” says Roseanne Mitchell is director of elections for Salt Lake County.

Two years ago, Cottonwood Heights and West Jordan both moved to vote-by-mail and saw dramatic increases in voter turnout.  Mitchell says it’s convenient for voters and for elections workers.

“It makes it more manageable for us,” she says. “We can better allocate our time and our resources instead of having multiple vote centers or polling places open on Election Day and not very many voters there.”

Salt Lake City Recorder Cindi Mansell says some people are reluctant to make the change, but she’s happy to educate voters who call her with questions or concerns. 

“You know we’re always looking for opportunities to engage our voters and increase our voter participation. It just seemed like the right time,” Mansell says.

Ballots include a postage-paid return envelope. They must be postmarked by Monday August 10th, the day before the primary election.

There are a handful a places left in Salt Lake County where residents can vote. Those locations can be found on the Salt Lake County website. Voters can also drop off ballots at the city recorder’s office or the county government center. 

Whittney Evans grew up southern Ohio and has worked in public radio since 2005. She has a communications degree from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, where she learned the ropes of reporting, producing and hosting. Whittney moved to Utah in 2009 where she became a reporter, producer and morning host at KCPW. Her reporting ranges from the hyper-local issues affecting Salt Lake City residents, to state-wide issues of national interest. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the guitar and getting to know the breathtaking landscape of the Mountain West.
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