The long-standing American tradition of going to the polls to cast your vote is going away in Grand County, and voters will have to send their ballots in by mail for the upcoming primary election. “I don’t like it,” said long-time resident and business owner Andy Nettell. “There is something about going to the polls, seeing your neighbors, and dropping your ballot in the box that makes you feel like you are participating in democracy.” Other residents were surprised when the notice showed up in their mailbox. “This was the first I had heard of it. I was taken completely by surprise,” local teacher and resident, Joanne Savoie said. “Was there any discussion on this? Who made this decision?” The decision was made by Grand County clerk/auditor Diana Carroll, under Utah State Code 20A-3-302, which allows the election officer (clerk/auditor) to conduct the election by mail. Carroll made the decision, she said, “to reduce election costs, to clean up voter rolls, and to increase voter turnout.”
“By-mail voting seems to be a relatively popular trend,” she said. “Each election more and more voters are requesting to be added to our list of permanent absentee voters.”
Voting by mail is not new. Oregon has been using vote-by-mail for all elections since 2000, and the state of Washington has also switched over. Other states, including neighboring Colorado, have varying degrees of vote-by-mail, but most are not exclusive. A handful of other Utah counties, including San Juan, Weber, and Davis, are all making the transition to vote-by-mail this year, and the State of Utah is watching closely to see the results.
Davis County has taken the lead in Utah, and they are taking part in a feasibility study for the state in response to the large number of requests for mail-in voting.
“We are excited to see the results during the primary,” said Brian McKenzie, election officer for Davis County said.
Carroll said her office worked closely with Davis and Weber counties before deciding to make the change, but unlike Davis County, Grand County will not offer any other method for voting. Davis County will still have several polling stations open on election day.
Full Article: Residents speak up on by-mail voting – Moab Sun News: News.