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Politics & Government
Election news from across Utah's statewide and national races in 2020.

People In Southern Utah Should Mail In Their Ballots Sooner Rather Than Later, Election Officials Say

A photo of a ballot in front of a ballot drop off box.
Lexi Peery
A ballot being dropped off at a Washington County drop box. Election officials are encouraging people to mail in their ballots as soon as possible.

Mail-in ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 2 for them to count in Utah. But mail in Southern Utah isn’t always postmarked in the region.

In a video posted by Washington County, Clerk Kim Hafen encouraged residents to vote by mail and said the method is efficient in the county. But he raised concerns about mailing in a ballot close to Election Day because Southern Utah mail is often postmarked on the Wasatch Front.

“We trust the post office, but the way it’s handled with going to Provo and back, it’s kind of critical,” Hafen said in the video. “[Even though] you put your ballot in at 4 o’clock Monday afternoon it might be postmarked Tuesday, and that won’t work.”

Garfield County Clerk Camille Moore said postmasters throughout the county have been helpful in making sure ballots are counted.

“If somebody mails [ballots] the day before [the] election, [local postmasters] hand postmark them and get them to us rather than send them through the process to Salt Lake and back or Provo and back,” Moore said.

A statement from the United States Post Office said its “Number one priority between now and the November election is the secure, timely delivery of the nation’s election mail.”

As for those ballots coming in a few days before Election Day, they’ll be postmarked locally and hand delivered to election officials.

Melanie Abplanalp, the Washington County election supervisor, said the county has had a good relationship with USPS but if people are worried at all about mail-in voting, drop boxes are available. Ultimately, she said, people can vote however they want.

“As it gets closer to Election Day, we do strongly suggest that [residents] use our official ballot drop box,” she said. “That's what they’re there for.”

Ballots can also be returned to an individual’s county clerk’s office or to their drop boxes by 8 p.m. on Election Day.

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