An all-mail voting system currently in use by seven counties across Utah for their upcoming primaries could be a model for future voting throughout the state. The Utah Legislature relaxed the vote-by-mail laws in 2012, allowing a handful of counties to try the new system. Davis County is the largest county trying out by-mail voting. The election office sent out ballots last month to all registered voters for the June 24 primary. Voters can then mail them back or drop them off at several locations. Davis County Election Manager Brian McKenzie is already excited about the turnout. “We’ve mailed out about 90,000 ballots, and as of this morning, we’ve had just over 13,000 that have been returned,” McKenzie said. “So far, we’re more than half way to meeting the turnout we had in 2010. When we compare it to 2012, we’re a little over third of the way there.”
McKenzie and other county election officials have been exploring alternatives to the current voting system because the machines are getting older and the manufacturer is no longer making the parts. A federal grant in 2005 paid for $30 million in voting machines.
“We’re anticipating our current system is still good for another five to ten years,” McKenzie said. “So we know that at some point we will have to make that transition to something new.”
Sevier County, which is also voting primarily by mail, has already counted a 20-percent turnout, which is considered a success for a primary, according to Mark Thomas, state chief deputy director of elections.
“At this point where we’re already a couple weeks out from Election Day and to already reach 20 percent is a huge success,” Thomas said. “This could be a possibility as we look forward to the future.”
Full Article: Utah Counties Adopt All-Mail Voting System | KUTV.com.