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Utah

Utah only made minor changes in order to adapt in 2020, as its existing system proved resilient enough to maintain its ability to allow voters to vote safely, both in person and by mail, in spite of the pandemic. In 2021 the state improved its ballot tracking system, and there are other issue areas where it has the opportunity to improve its election system. These improvements will bring Utah one step closer to a more safe, efficient, and voter-friendly election process. As always, we stress that policy is important, but it is just as important that it is implemented well. 

As of 2021....

No Excuse Required

No Excuse Required

No excuse to vote by mail

Online Mail Ballot Application

Online Mail Ballot Application

Apply for mail ballot online

Robust Ballot Return Option

Robust Ballot Return Option

U.S. mail, drop boxes, vote centers, and more

Prepaid Postage

Prepaid Postage

Postage-paid return envelopes provided

Election Day Postmark Acceptance

Election Day Postmark Acceptance

Accepts ballots postmarked by Election Day

Ballot Tracking

Ballot Tracking

Online method to check ballot status

Signature Verification

Signature Verification

Voter signature verified before ballot is counted

Cure Process

Cure Process

Ability to correct issues so ballot can be counted

Preprocessing

Preprocessing

Election official may process ballot before Election Day

Opportunities

Utah can reach for the gold standard of post-election security by making its required post election audits risk limiting audits.
Automatic voter registration would improve upon Utah’s same day voter registration to ensure that any eligible resident who wants to cast a ballot in an election can.
Simplifying the return process for a ballot is just as important as simplifying the request process. Prepaying postage on ballot return envelopes ensures that voters do not need to make an extra trip to the post office. We recommend Utah prepay postage statewide, rather than leave it up to the counties.
Accepting ballots with postmarked as sent on election day, rather than just before election day, is a best practice to ensure that voters are given all options to vote their ballot in a timely manner. Extending the “postmarked accepted” timeline to include election day has been proven to decrease ballot rejection rates.

Recent Legislation

As of May 21, 2021

Utah has been conducting its elections by mail for years, so the state already had the infrastructure needed in order to conduct the election safely and securely in the “new normal”, so the changes the legislature made to adjust the system to the pandemic were relatively minor. In 2021, the state passed HB 70, a bipartisan bill to amend the state’s existing ballot tracking system to allow voters to get electronically notified each time their ballot enters a new step in the process (from being sent to them to being counted).