Can Utahns vote in person this election?


This Tuesday, April 28, 2020 file photo shows Jerome Fedor, left, voting using social distancing at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, in Cleveland, Ohio. Ohio’s elections chief says his office plans to remove about 120,000 inactive Ohio voter registrations from state voter rolls after the November election. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)

Utah (ABC4 News) – Wondering if you can vote in-person in Utah this election?

The 2020 Presidential Election is scheduled for Nov. 3, 2020. During the 2016 Election, 82% of the state’s registered voters cast a ballot and officials suggest an even higher turnout for the upcoming 2020 election.

According to the Salt Lake County Clerk, the State Legislature met on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020, to pass an election bill requiring in-person voting options.

“This bill makes temporary changes to the Election Code and related provisions, as they relate to the 2020 regular general election only, to conduct the election in a manner that protects the public health and safety in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, and modifies ballot harvesting provisions in relation to all election,” the bill states.

During Thursday’s meeting, Utah legislators unanimously voted in favor of a plan that includes outdoor voting and additional ballot drop boxes throughout Utah’s rural areas.

The in-person options can include drive-through or walk-up voting, Utah’s vote-by-mail system will still be an option.

“All of the counties in Utah are primarily on a vote-by-mail system. County clerks will mail ballots to eligible voters three weeks prior to Election Day in accordance with Utah Law.  However, it is still important for us to offer in-person voting opportunities for individuals who did not receive a by-mail ballot so they may participate in this important election,” said Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Swensen said there will be procedures put in place to provide protection for the poll workers and voters at vote centers, including requiring poll workers to use protective gear and sanitizers, and for the public and poll workers to wear masks and follow social distancing guidelines.

“We encourage voters to register to vote and also to update their addresses before the October 23rd deadline so we can mail them a ballot,” Swensen added.

The bill states the counties must also provide in-person voting on election day and during early voting at either traditional in-person voting at a polling location in a building, or outdoor voting.

Sherrie Swensen, Salt Lake County Clerk told ABC4 News that “registration by provisional ballot will be available at a polling place”, so same-day registration will be allowed again. Same-day registration was eliminated for the June 30th Primary Election, Swensen says.

Read the full bill.

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