There’s still time to register for Nov. 6 midterm election
Summit County residents who are not registered to vote for the Nov. 6 general election still have time to sign up, but the window is closing.
The deadline to register through the mail is Oct. 9. Registration forms can be found online or at the three branches of the Summit County Library.
Anyone who misses the mail-in deadline can still register to vote in person or online until Oct. 30. Address changes or other updates to voter information can also be made through the end of the month. Those who do not have a state driver’s license will be required to register in person so their identification forms can be verified.
Someone must be a resident of Utah for at least 30 days, be at least 18 years old by the time of the election and be a U.S. citizen to be eligible to register to vote.
The Summit County Clerk’s Office will begin sending mail-in ballots to roughly 24,800 registered voters on Oct. 16. The ballots should start arriving around Oct. 18. They must be returned with a postmark no later than Nov. 5. Ballots can also be put in drop boxes that will be placed throughout the county on Election Day.
Summit County Clerk Kent Jones said the first batch of ballots will only go to those who have already registered.
“We will still do an additional two or three mailings as soon as we get new voter registrations,” he said.
Two seats on the Summit County Council, as well as four department head roles, will appear on the ballot. Josh Mann, an independent, filed as a write-in candidate challenging Democratic incumbent County Councilor Glenn Wright for his seat. The rest of the county courthouse races are uncontested.
Three Statehouse races, a U.S. Senate seat and a congressional seat will also be on the ballot. Open spots on the Park City, South Summit and North Summit school boards will also be decided.
Voters may notice a couple of changes to the process that were made during the most recent Utah legislative session, essentially making it easier for voters to cast a ballot in certain situations.
One such change is that Summit County will again offer early voting this election. Before the state transitioned to a mail-in ballot system, early voting was held two weeks prior to the election. The practice went away with the new system. But, the state Legislature passed a measure to reinstate it. “They figured we can’t not have any kind of early voting even with a mail-in system,” Jones said.
Early voting will be held between Oct. 30 and Nov. 2 in the Clerk’s Office in Coalville. Jones said only a few people took advantage of the opportunity during the primary election.
“It’s not a real demand, but it is available for those who need it,” he said.
Those who don’t receive a mail-in ballot are still able to show up at one of the polling locations to cast a vote, even if they haven’t registered up until that point. In the past, only voters who were registered somewhere else in the state were given a provisional ballot that later had to be qualified by the Clerk’s Office.
“This year, even if they are not registered, but otherwise qualify, they can use that registration on Election Day to count that ballot,” Jones said. “They will still have to show two forms of identification, but they can still vote even if they only registered that day.”
Jones encouraged people interested in voting to register as soon as possible. They can check with his office to ensure all of their information is current.
“If they leave it to the last minute, they are taking a bit of a gamble,” he said. “But, if we can verify all of their information however they vote, we will still count that ballot.”
For more information about voter registration and the election, go to http://www.co.summit.ut.us/281/Voter-Registration-Elections or https://secure.utah.gov/voterreg/index.html?fromLocation=.
Meredith Reed was elected to a two-year term as chair of the Summit County Democratic Party and said she sees an opportunity to ride the so-called blue wave that saw a Democratic surge nationally and within the state.