Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

March 29, 2012
By-mail voting pushed to increase voter participation

Congratulations to all of you who attended your caucus meetings. Tooele County had almost 3,000 people attend caucus meetings this month.

At those caucus meetings, a number of attendees signed up to be by-mail voters. For clarification purposes, absentee ballots and by-mail ballots are the same thing. For this article, I will just refer to them as “vote by-mail forms.”  The Republican Party prefilled out a vote by-mail form for each person who was registered as a Republican. All you had to do was sign the form and it was returned to the Clerk’s Office.

I understand that some of you did not accurately understand what the forms were for. If you signed a form indicating that you wanted to become a by-mail voter and have changed your mind since, please call the Clerk’s Office at (435) 843-3148 to cancel. By the same token, if you wanted to be a by-mail voter and did not get the opportunity to fill out a form, please call.

The reason by-mail voting is being pushed is not to keep anyone away from the polls, but rather to increase voting participation. By-mail voting has been proven to increase voter turnout. The ballot comes directly to the voter’s home where they vote (at their leisure), place the ballot in an envelope, sign the affidavit on the back of the envelope, put postage on the envelope, and put it in the mail. All done. There are no parking problems, worrying about getting to the polls on time, or weather worries.  By-mail voting is wonderful, if that’s what you want. If not, the polls are always open on Election Day and early voting days.

If you have been sent a by-mail ballot and you decide to vote at the polls, when you present your identification to the poll worker she will ask for your by-mail ballot.  The computer will have indicated that you have already received a ballot. The judges are then required to get your ballot before they can let you vote. It’s not their fault, it’s the law.

In years past, there has always been a form for you to fill out at the caucus meetings if you were interested in being an election worker. This year, however, you were suppose to indicate your interest in working the election when you signed the roster by putting a check in the appropriate square next to your name. I apologize for not being aware of the change. I have requested copies of all of the rosters from the parties and will make sure to mark those who have worked elections before as having attended your caucus meeting.  If you have not worked elections before and are interested in being an election worker, please email me at mgillette@co.tooele.ut.us.

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