Voters in about a dozen Utah counties have more flexibility in this year’s election primaries. In seven of those counties, residents may choose their preferred candidate by mail. Such ballots aren’t exactly new technology, said Brian McKenzie, election manager for Davis County, but officials for the first time are relying on them to collect the bulk of county ballots. After Weber and Duchesne counties logged higher turnout with mail-in ballots during recent elections, “a few more counties said, ‘Let’s give this a try,’ ” Justin Lee, deputy state elections director, told the Salt Lake Tribune (http://bit.ly/UoA6HX.) Voters wishing to cast votes in person, who have lost their ballots, or who simply want to drop them off may use one of seven centers that will be open on primary day, McKenzie said. The six other counties include Beaver, Duchesne, Garfield, Grand, San Juan and Sevier, Lee said.
Those counties won’t have in-person early voting, but starting Tuesday, most other counties will. A list of sites is online at vote.utah.gov. Monday is the last day to register for early voting, which takes place in-person at county clerks’ offices.
In Davis County, McKenzie’s office sent out 90,000 ballots to registered voters on May 23. As of Monday, about 13,500 came back in.
Officials warn that the mail-in voting system is more restrictive when it comes to changing or choosing party registration: Republicans allow only registered Republicans to vote by mail in their primary, while the Democratic primary is open to Democrats and unaffiliated voters. Voters were required to choose 30 days in advance of the primary which ballot they want.