SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Every voter will receive a mail-in ballot starting next week in the State of Utah. Officials say voting by mail is safe, but you will see changes in the process if you have to vote in-person.
In 2018, Salt Lake County saw 88 percent of folks vote using their mail-in ballots. Officials hope to see that number rise after November 3rd.
“So this is the message that we need to let people know, please use your vote by mail ballot if you can and leave the in-person vote centers for individuals who really need to be there,” says Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen. “It would be incredibly sad if people were going to the vote center just because they like the in-person voting, and unnecessarily exposing the poll workers and the other people who need to be there.”
People who will vote in person Swensen says, “They need to wear a mask.”
She says each person or group will need to stand six feet from the next.
“If there are 20 people in line and they are six-foot socially distanced, we’d have a 120-foot line,” she says. “It’s going to be challenging, unlike it has been in the past because we are going to have to socially distance.”
Tasked with keeping everyone in line will be the poll workers.
“We have hired more poll workers than we have since we went to vote by mail, almost doubled the number,” says Swensen. “Part of their job is to make sure that people are socially distanced, and also they will be sanitizing the surfaces.”
Swensen says each voter will get a keepsake stylus to check-in and vote, along with a glove to hold their voter access card. The county will also provide large trash cans to dispose of the gloves and unwanted stylus.
“They do not have to touch any surface with their bare hand,” she adds.
Another thing the county is planning on seeing are poll watchers.
Swensen says, “They can come and they can observe, but they can’t interfere.”
There will be 59 voting centers open on Election Day, and 13 early voting locations open before then.
If you’re voting by mail, make sure your ballot is postmarked by November 2nd.
Salt Lake County has 21 Ballot Drop Box Locations open 24/7 until 8p on November 3rd.
In each Salt Lake County mail-in ballot will be a special “I Voted” sticker, honoring Seraph Young, Utah’s first woman voter 150 years ago.