Summit County residents have until Oct. 28 to register to vote
Ballots are expected to be mailed on Oct. 18, should arrive later that week
The Summit County Clerk’s Office is in the midst of readying voting equipment and printing ballots with Election Day a little more than a month away.
County Clerk Evelyn Furse said ballots are expected to be mailed on Oct. 18 and should arrive later that week. Summit County residents who are not yet registered to vote must do so by 11 days before the election, or by Oct. 28, to cast a ballot.
“We are anticipating a very good turnout,” Furse said. “You know, it is of course a midterm election so it probably won’t be as high as 2020, but we do anticipate, hopefully, in the 80% range.”
Completed mail-in ballots can be sent through the postal system and must be postmarked by Nov. 7. People delivering their vote closer to the election should consider dropping it off in person at the post office to ensure timely delivery, Furse said.
Ballots can also be put into one of several drop box locations throughout the county. The sites include Francis City Hall, the Summit County Library branches in Coalville, Kamas and Kimball Junction, the Marsac Building, The Market at Park City, Oakley City Hall, the Fresh Market in Jeremy Ranch, Henefer Town Hall and People’s Health Clinic at Quinn’s Junction. Ballots must be dropped off by 8 p.m. on Election Day.
Summit County residents may also choose to cast their vote in person. Early voting will be offered in the Clerk’s Office and the Kimball Junction branch of the Summit County Library from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Nov. 3 through Nov. 5 and Nov. 7.
There will be four locations open for voting on Election Day. County voters can visit Coalville City Hall, the Marsac Building, and the library’s Kimball Junction and Kamas locations. The voting centers are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Nov. 8.
Although some county Republicans have expressed concern about the election process, Furse reiterated residents’ votes are protected. Utah has a long history of supporting voting by mail and is the only GOP-led state that sends all active voters a ballot before an election.
“Four years ago, this wasn’t a concern,” Furse said.
She continued, “We are very proud of Utah elections. Utah has been at the forefront of mail-in voting and our elections have been observed and noted multiple times to be excellent. We do not have big problems with voter fraud. Our voter rolls are very much up to date.”
Utah has several built-in protections to ensure election security. Many people register to vote when they apply for a Utah driver’s license, which requires an individual produce significant identification before issuance. The state’s voter system then utilizes that information when registering someone to vote, according to Furse. This confirms an individual is a real person.
Ballots are also issued a number that is tied to a specific voter, allowing the Clerk’s Office to know which ballot was sent to which person. Voters must also sign their ballot before sending it back, which can be compared to a signature for the person on file. Signatures from previous years are also kept on file so the Clerk’s Office can look at the history or ask for further verification. This system also prevents people from voting on someone else’s ballot. Ballots in question aren’t counted until a declaration from the voter confirming they signed it is received, according to Furse.
She said there are often other concerns from residents that ballot boxes will be stuffed with fake votes. However, the ballot and voter identification system in place would immediately alert the Clerk’s Office to the fraud. Ballots are marked off as returned as soon as the numbers are cross-checked.
There are also myths that elections can be hacked, Furse said, but the machines used to count votes and scan in ballots are not connected to the internet.
“There is no way to hack into them,” she affirmed.
The Clerk’s Office will host a public logic and accuracy test at 10 a.m. on Oct. 18 at the County Courthouse to demonstrate how the machines work. A deck of premarked test ballots will be run through the equipment to make sure they are counted as marked. Furse said this allows staffers to see if there are any issues with the programming.
The state also sends a post-election audit to the county clerk, which helps confirm ballots were counted as intended before the official canvass.
Furse said there have been no past issues with elections in Summit County. She said the vast majority of residents vote by mail. Residents with questions are encouraged to call 435-336-3040 or email email@example.com.
The red, white and blue transit buses that allow commuters, skiers and visitors to easily travel through Parleys Canyon will be reduced starting next Sunday, but a new agreement spearheaded by a county agency will ensure the critical connection remains intact.
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