With two young kids, it’s hard for Holly Smith to go to a polling location on Election Day. If there’s a line, she’s often pulled between entertaining her 4- and 6-year-olds and being attentive to the issues and candidates. So for the past six years, the Holladay mom has opted to vote from home using a mail-in ballot. “It’s really convenient because I can take my time,” Smith said. She’ll soon be joined by most neighbors and many residents throughout Salt Lake County.
While any individual registered voter can choose to vote by mail, many cities — including Holladay — are making that the standard. Fourteen of the 16 cities in the county have adopted vote-by-mail for municipal elections. The only exceptions are Taylorsville and West Valley City.
Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen is a fan of the change, saying it spurs greater participation in elections. Cottonwood Heights, for example, switched to vote-by-mail in 2013 and tripled its voter turnout, she notes.
Six cities — Herriman, Holladay, Midvale, Salt Lake City, South Jordan and South Salt Lake — will all use vote-by-mail for the first time in the Aug. 11 primaries.