Although we are a nation built on westward expansion, when it comes to vote-by-mail it’s a movement built more on eastern expansion. Washington and Oregon are completely vote-by-mail, in the most recent presidential election more people voted by mail in California than cast ballots at the polls and the Colorado legislature recently approved a bill that will send a ballot to every registered voter. Recently, several towns and counties throughout Utah have been considering making the switch from polling-place based elections to vote-by-mail elections. “Over the past few years several state legislators have been excited by the idea of vote-by-mail,” said Mark Thomas chief deputy/director of elections Lieutenant Governor’s office. “They have passed several laws to make it easier to conduct election by-mail.”
According to Thomas, it used to be that a precinct could be a vote-by-mail (VBM) precinct if it had 500 or fewer voters and the county legislative body voted in favor of that precinct going VBM.
The law was changed to allow any precinct, regardless of size, to be VBM. Also, it is now the decision of the election officer as to whether a precinct is VBM and not the county legislative body.
In 2012, the Legislature also passed a law requiring the Lt. Governor’s Office to study how to administer an election that takes place no later than 2015 in which all registered voters received a ballot in the mail and a person may vote by mailing in the completed ballot or vote in-person at an early voting polling location or election day vote center.
“With this study in mind, our office is very interested in the data and feedback we hope to receive from the municipalities and counties that have or plan to conduct their election all by-mail,” Thomas said. “We are only in the initial stages of conducting the study, part of which is because we are waiting for the data from these elections.”
Full Article: electionlineWeekly.