SALT LAKE CITY — Early voting begins Tuesday in some locations around Utah.
Counties like Salt Lake and Summit opened locations where people can vote in-person this week. Davis, Utah, Weber, Tooele and others will open early voting locations next week. Some counties are not offering physical locations for early voting.
Related: Visit the 2020 Election Guide to contact your county clerk and find out when you can vote early
However, elections officials say in this time of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s better to fill out the ballot you got in the mail.
“For the ease and convenience of everyone, we would encourage people to vote the ballot we mailed to you. You can choose how you cast it, but please vote that one,” said Davis County Clerk/Auditor Curtis Koch.
“Our goal is to keep the public and poll workers safe,” he said.
A reminder to vote your #VoteByMail ballot!
During this COVID-19 pandemic, we encourage you to #Vote your mail-in ballot and drop it off at one of 21 ballot drop boxes in Salt Lake County. Here are the locations:https://t.co/7G32oWDeme pic.twitter.com/ofoKimHrLR
— Salt Lake County Elections (@VoteSLCo) October 19, 2020
Early voting locations benefit some Utah populations
Elections officials say early voting locations are designed to help voters who need help because of a disability. For example, voters who need to use a voting machine with features like an audio ballot.
People can also go to a location if they need to replace their ballot, or who did not get a ballot in the mail. You can check the status of your ballot at vote.utah.gov.
Koch said if voters come in to an early voting location, or come in on election day, he will be printing out the same ballot they were sent in the mail.
“Take the ballot you receive in the mail, choose how you want to vote it. Bring it in, drop it off, put it in the mail — we encourage you to vote that ballot,” he said.
Safeguards protect against fraud
There are safeguards in place to make sure people don’t vote by mail AND in person.
“If you received a mail ballot, you are encouraged to skip the lines at voting locations by postmarking your ballot by November 2nd or depositing it in a county ballot drop box before 8:00 pm on Election Day,” says the Salt Lake County Clerk’s website.
Your county clerk’s website will have information on locations for early voting, locations of drop boxes, and all the deadlines.
- How to turn in your mail-in ballot and make sure it’s counted
- How does voting by mail work?
- Vision 2020: Are absentee votes and mail-in votes different?
- Live Mic: Both parties benefit equally with mail-in voting
Why is KSL NewsRadio covering this?
This story is part of a series explaining the process behind elections in the United States and Utah. We wanted to answer commonly asked questions about the process.
Where did the idea come from?
It came from you! Listeners like you text, email or message us regularly with questions just like this one that sometimes become stories.
How did KSL report the story?
Just like you, when we need to answer tough questions, we perform searches -- sometimes using the library, sometimes online. We also consult with experts in the appropriate field to answer our questions. In this case, we went to the county clerks whose job it is to oversee elections in your local area.
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