We have received numerous phone calls, emails and questions concerning some things pertaining to the Primary Election next month. I’d like to try to answer some of them.
1. Why did I receive a postcard asking if I want to affiliate with the Republican Party to vote in the Primary Election? The law requires that unaffiliated voters have an opportunity to change their party affiliation if they wish to vote in the Republican Primary election. The Republican Primary is the only primary election in Tooele County this year.
2. I am registered with a party. Why did I receive a postcard saying I’m registered as unaffiliated? If you received a postcard, you are registered as unaffiliated. We will be glad to send you a form to change your unaffiliated status to another party, but we must have the signed form.
3. Why did I get the notice the same day it was due? Some voters received this notification early last week, while some of you are just receiving your notices this weekend. They were all mailed at the same time. The notice listed the return deadline as May 18. I’m not sure why the difference in delivery dates. I could speculate, but that wouldn’t change anything.
4. If I didn’t get it back by May 18, do I lose my opportunity to affiliate and vote? Please know that whenever we receive your notice, you will still receive a ballot. It may come from my office rather than directly from the printer, but as long as we receive it by May 30, you will receive your ballot. After that date any unaffiliated voters may change their affiliation at the polling location.
5. Can I still vote at the polling location on the electronic machines on election day? With the new equipment the State approved, there are no more electronic machines. You are welcome to come to a polling location to vote where you will receive a paper ballot just like the one you received in the mail. Be sure to bring the ballot in with you that you received in the mail, otherwise you will be required to vote a provisional ballot.
6. Why did Tooele County go to voting all by mail? Most of the counties in Utah already vote by mail and have for many years. Tooele County joined them when the new equipment was purchased. Rather than sending everyone a paper ballot, we could have just handed out paper ballots at the polls. With our number of voters already voting by mail at 43 percent, it seemed more convenient to mail a ballot to everyone.
7. Are all By Mail ballots counted? Absolutely! The only ballots that would not be counted are those mailed after the deadline or received after the canvass. Ballots must be postmarked the day before the election. Voters are also welcome to bring them into my office until 8 p.m. election night, or drop them at any polling location on election night, until 8 p.m. Beginning this year, we have four drop boxes around the county that you can put your ballots into. You are welcome to track your ballot on vote.utah.gov. It will tell you when your ballot has been ordered, when it was received back in my office and whether it was counted or not. If it wasn’t counted it will tell you why. The only reason ballots wouldn’t be counted is the affidavit wasn’t signed or the signature doesn’t match one of the five we have on file. In either of these cases, we will get a hold of the voter to remedy the situation.
8. What about persons with a disability? They will also receive their ballot in the mail. Each polling location will have a “ballot marking device” specifically for the disabled. They will have to bring in the ballot that was mailed to them to use the device, or will also be required to vote a provisional ballot.
I hope this answers some of your questions. If you have more, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 435-843-3148.