FARMINGTON — Voters are starting to return their ballots, marked with their candidate choices for the Primary Election which will officially take place June 24.
“Today, we got our first big batch of ballots returned,” said Brian McKenzie, Davis County Election Manager. That was on Thursday, May 28.
“I would estimate at least 1,000 ballots have been returned in five big trays or 200-300 per tray.”
This year’s Primary Election is the first where all ballots are being mailed, or about 80,000.
Last year, upwards of 20,000 were received in what was formerly the absentee ballot program, County Clerk/Auditor Steve Rawlings said.
Voters can still vote at seven vote centers on election day, and they can also return their ballots there that day or at the 15 city halls or Clerk/Auditor’s office during regular business hours through Friday, June 20.
If you’re going to mail your completed ballot back, it must be postmarked by June 23, McKenzie said.
“So far it seems to have been received very well,” he said of the process. “We’ve had some good feedback from the voters.
The voting centers are at South Branch Library in Bountiful, Centerville Branch Library, Farmington Community Center, 120 S. Main (an incorrect address was printed on mailed out materials), Kaysville City Hall, Layton High School, North Branch Library in Clearfield and the Syracuse Community Center.
Of Utah’s 29 counties, 11 are participating this year, with Davis County the most populous. Voting by mail has been the norm for years in such states as Oregon and Washington, with several other states participating this year, Rawlings said.
The same process will be used for the general election. Postage is paid by the county, eliminating the need for voters to worry about that, he said.
After someone has voted, he or she can verify when their ballot is returned by visiting vote.utah.gov.
“I think it will significantly increase voter turnout and it will decrease the cost per voter,” Rawlings said.
Instead of about 700 poll workers, about one-tenth that number should be able to handle duties during election day this year, McKenzie said.