On Thursdays during the Legislative session, you will find me at the State Capitol in meetings. The Clerk/Auditor’s Association meets at 8 a.m. every Thursday to discuss bills that affect our offices.
There are always numerous bills concerning elections and a few that deal with the auditor’s office. After the clerk/auditor’s meeting, the Utah Association of Counties meets to discuss all of the bills that will affect counties. We are then sometimes required to go to committee meetings to speak to legislators about bills they are considering. The clerk/auditor’s group is knowledgeable and its members are frequently asked to speak in committee meetings. Here are some of the bills we’re working on this year:
HB0067: Whenever someone applies for or renews their driver license or state ID, unless they opt out, the information is sent to the county clerk. This will keep our records cleaner and updated. For some reason that I can’t understand, when people move, the first thing on their mind is not updating their voter registration. This will take care of that. Fewer provisional ballots!
HB0141: Allows election officers to reduce the early voting period to as few as two days. With most counties sending ballots to everyone in the county, there isn’t a need for nine days of Early Voting. This helps facilitate that.
HB0113: If a candidate is out of state for the entire filing period, they can file using an agent, but must also be “present” via Skype-like technology.
And in other county business, the following items are brought to your attention.
• Passport increase: We have been made aware of an increase in Passport Acceptance Fees, effective April 2, 2018. The increase will be from $25 to $35. If you have plans to purchase a passport in the near future, please come to the Clerk’s Office before the April 2 deadline. Ten dollars isn’t a lot of money, but for a family of five, it’s $50, which could be put in a better place!
• Veterans abatement: This year, rather than sending an abatement application to veterans, we will be sending a postcard that will show the veteran’s disability percentage. If all of the information on the postcard is correct, all they’ll have to do is sign the card and return it to the clerk/auditor’s office. Please make sure to follow the instructions for folding the card and sealing it so your signature won’t be visible while it comes back to us. Look for these postcards the first part of March.
• Property with delinquent taxes: Property with five years of delinquent taxes goes up for sale at the May Tax Sale each year. In an effort to give people more time to get the taxes paid, or make arrangements with the treasurer’s office, notices will be going out to property owners who are delinquent on their property taxes for five years in March.
If you have any questions, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 435-843-3148.
Marilyn Gillette is the Tooele County Clerk/Auditor.