Everything You Need To Know About Voting In Utah During The 2020 General Election
Election Day is Nov. 3, and Utah voters have already begun receiving their ballots by mail. Looking for the how, when and where on voting in Utah? KUER has rounded up the details on how to cast your ballot during the 2020 election. For more information about the candidates and issues Utahns will weigh in on, check out KUER's election coverage of the major statewide races plus constitutional amendments.
How To Register To Vote
Not sure if you’re registered? Check your voter registration at vote.utah.gov.
If you’re not registered, you have until Oct. 23 at 5 p.m. MDT to do so and receive a standard ballot. Your registration needs to be received by the County Clerk by the deadline. If you miss the deadline, you can still register in person and vote but you will receive a provisional ballot.
If you’ve moved since the last election, you need to re-register.
Where to register by Oct. 23 at 5 p.m MDT:
- Online: Register to vote online at vote.utah.gov.
- Via Mail: Download a registration form, fill it out, and mail it to your County Clerk’s Office. Elections officials suggest calling the County Clerk’s office to confirm that they have received it.
- Via Email: Download a registration form, fill it out, and mail it to your County Clerk’s Office. Elections officials suggest calling the County Clerk’s office to confirm that they have received it.
- In Person: Visit your County Clerk's Office and submit the registration form in person.
Where to register on Election Day or During Early Voting (Same-Day Registration)
If you miss the deadline, you can register in-person at a polling place on Election Day or during early voting and cast a provisional ballot. You will need two forms of ID that prove your identity and your current address. That could be a Utah driver license, U.S. passport, Utah or U.S.-issued ID card, Utah concealed carry permit, or Tribal ID card AND a current utility bill or vehicle registration. If you don’t have one of the forms of identification listed above, you can bring two forms of identification from the state-approved list.
Voters who choose to register on Election Day or during early voting will cast what’s called a “provisional ballot.” County elections workers will verify the registration information, and if it’s correct, then your ballot will be counted. You will need to show approved ID and proof of residence. If you do not bring the correct form of ID on Election Day or during early voting you can still vote, but you need to bring your ID to the County Clerk’s office no later than the Monday after the election for it to be counted.
How To Get A Ballot
Mail-in Ballots: Ballots are mailed to all registered voters from Oct. 13 to Oct. 27. Check the status of your mail ballot here. If you have registered by Oct. 23, you should receive a ballot in the mail. Elections officials suggest contacting your county clerk if you do not receive a ballot by a few days after Oct. 27.
Absentee Ballots: Members of the military, their families, and people living outside the U.S. can register to vote and request an absentee ballot online, or printing this form and mailing it to your county clerk. The deadline to request an absentee ballot is Oct. 29, and you can choose if you want it emailed, faxed or mailed to you. If you request your ballot by fax or email, you must waive your right to a secret ballot.
If your absentee ballot does not arrive, you can still vote via a Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot.
Provisional Ballots: If you register on Election Day, you’ll cast what's called a “provisional ballot.” County elections workers will verify the registration information, and if it’s correct, then your ballot will be counted. If you do not bring the correct form of ID on Election Day or during early voting you can still vote, but you need to bring your ID to the County Clerk’s office no later than the Monday after the election for it to be counted.
In-person Ballot: Elections officials are asking that people only vote in person if they don’t receive a ballot in the mail or need special accommodations. You can find your closest polling location here.
How Mail-In Voting Works
State and local elections officials are urging Utahns to vote using a mail-in ballot to avoid long lines at the polls on Election Day. The state elections office made a video explaining the security and privacy protections built into the process:
There is no evidence of a widespread fraud effort related to mail-in voting, which is the scale of fraud that would be needed to actually impact the results of an election, according to the FBI Director. Additionally, voter fraud generally is incredibly rare. The risk of ballot fraud is about 0.00004% to 0.0009%, according to a 2017 report from the Brennan Center for Justice.
Mail-in voting does not favor one political party, numerous studies have found, including this one from Brigham Young University.
How To Cast Your Vote
Through the Mail: Your ballot must be postmarked by Nov. 2, the day before Election Day. Some counties provide pre-paid postage for your ballot, and that should be noted on your ballot instructions. If your county does not provide that service and you can’t afford a stamp, the USPS is still required to deliver your ballot to the county clerk.
Mail-in ballots via county drop box: You must drop off your ballot by 8 p.m. MDT on Election Day. These boxes are only accessed by elections staff and volunteers. Find a drop box in your county at votersearch.utah.gov.
Absentee ballots: You can mail, email or fax your ballot. Follow the instructions on the ballot. If you submit your ballot through email or fax, you waive your right to a secret ballot. The ballot must be received by your county clerk by 8 p.m. MDT on Election Day. Or if you are outside the Mountain time zone, it must be sent by 12:01 a.m. (your local time) on Election Day.
In person: To vote in person, you need to bring an ID with your name and photograph, including a Utah driver license, U.S. passport, Utah or U.S.-issued ID card, Utah concealed carry permit. You can also bring a Tribal ID card, which does not need to include a photograph.
If you don’t have any of those forms of ID, you can bring two other forms of (non-expired) identification that poll workers can review as a package to prove your identity and where you live. Those include a utility bill, an out of state driver license, valid ID card issued by a university or technical school, naturalization documents (not a green card), or Medicaid card. The state also provides a full list of acceptable forms of ID.
Find an in-person polling location closest to you below or at votersearch.utah.gov. Each county is required to have at least one.
Early Voting: The same ID requirements above apply to early voting. To find out when and where early voting is taking place near you, go to vote.utah.gov or visit your County Clerk’s website.
Info For Voters With Disabilities
In addition to these voting methods, Utahns with disabilities can also vote through email or fax. To request an email or fax ballot, submit a paper application to your County Clerk’s office by mail, e-mail, or in person. The County Clerk must receive the application form by Oct. 23 at 5 p.m. MDT.
Utah County allows people with disabilities to vote using a smartphone app through a pilot program. Voters can contact the Utah County Clerk’s office for more information.
Voters with visual or hearing disabilities can also use voting machines equipped with accommodations at a polling location. In order to use this service, notify a poll worker when you arrive. Voters can also ask for assistance casting their ballot from a poll worker or anyone else, besides their employer, a trade union representative or a political candidate. You can find your closest polling location at votesearch.utah.gov.