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Voting Rights

 

Important 2020 General Election Dates

October 13:  Ballots will begin to be mailed to all active/eligible registered voters.

October 20:  Voters who have not received a ballot should verify/update their voter registration or contact their county clerk’s office as soon as possible.  This will allow time to correct any issues and mail you a new ballot.

October 23:  Last day to register to vote.  In most counties, registrations must be received by 5:00 PM

November 2: By mail postmark deadline – If in doubt, consider leaving your ballot in a ballot drop box.

November 3: Election Day – Check your county website to learn where your county will offer in-person voting on Election Day. You may leave your ballot in a ballot drop box until 8:00 PM.

Voting in 2020

Information about the November 2020 General Election

The Legislature met in August for a special session.  A new temporary law was passed to balance voting safety and voter convenience for the November 2020 Election.  The law says:

  • The election should be conducted primarily by mail.
  • Each county must provide in-person voting on Election Day and during early voting.  This can be done by offering traditional in-person voting in a building; or outdoor voting.
  • Outdoor voting must be accessible for pedestrians and automobiles.
  • There must be a method of accessible voting provided to voters with a disability who are not able to vote by mail.
  • Information must be included with the ballot and on the election officer’s website about how a voter with a disability can vote when they cannot vote by mail.
  • Ballot drop boxes should be available in convenient locations.

The Disability Law Center asserts that accommodations for voters with disabilities who cannot vote by mail should be available during the same time period that other voters have access to their mailed ballot.  If you request a voting accommodation that is denied or if you are told that accommodations are only available on Election Day, feel free to contact us for assistance.

Your Voting Rights

Your voting rights are protected by the highest laws in our nation.  Below is an overview of your rights: 

  • You have the right to vote if you are citizen of the United States and 18 years old.
  • You don’t have to pass any kind of test to vote.
  • Anyone who will be 18 for the General Election (in November) can vote earlier in the year during primary elections.
  • You can pre-register to vote when you are 16 or 17.
  • Only a judge can take away your right to vote.  That means that even a guardian cannot decide whether you vote, unless the guardianship order signed by the judge says that your guardian can make voting decisions.
  • In Utah, you have the right to vote, even if you have a criminal record.  A person convicted of a crime and serving time in jail or prison cannot vote while they are incarcerated.  Once released, they can register and vote.
  • You have the right to vote privately and independently.
  • You have the right to an accessible ballot.   If you cannot complete the ballot mailed to you without someone helping you, you can request a ballot in a format that meets your needs.
  • You can have a person that you choose help you vote.  You can’t get help from your boss, union representative or a candidate.
  • You can always ask a poll worker for help voting.

*Information may change due to COVID-19. Future updates will be provided.

Registering to Vote

There are three ways to register to vote: online, by mail, and in person.  The voter registration deadline for any of these methods is 11 days prior to the election.

  • Online:  To register online you must have a Utah driver license or state issued ID.  The address on your ID must match your current residence or you must have informed the Driver License Division of your new address.  You may register to vote online at: voter.utah.gov
  • By Mail:  To register by mail you may print a registration form here. If you would like the Disability Law Center to send you a registration form, you may contact our intake line at 800-662-9080 or send a request to: voting@disabilitylawcenter.org
  • In-person:  During office hours at your County Clerk’s Office.  Note:  Due to COVID-19 conditions, county clerk offices may have altered their practices of meeting with the public.  You may want to call or check their website before visiting the office.
  • Same-day registration:  Vote Centers traditionally offer same-day registration.  This practice has been suspended for the November 2020 election.  Please register to vote early. 

Voter ID

In order to vote in Utah, you must provide Identification.  If you register to vote online, the election official views an electronic copy of your ID and adds it to your voter registration file.  If you register by mail, you should send a copy of your ID with your ballot the first time you vote.  Once a copy of your ID is on file, the election official refers to it each year to confirm the validity of your ballot.  The signature from your ID is matched with the signature on the ballot.  Therefore, you don’t need to send a copy of your ID with every ballot.  Each time you vote in-person, you will be asked to show ID.   When your address changes, you should update your ID and registration. 

To learn about acceptable forms of ID, click HERE.

Early Voting

Every county is now offering at least four days of early voting. To find out when early voting is scheduled and where you can go to vote early, contact your county clerk. Feel free to contact The DLC to learn where you can vote or to get answers to any question that you have about voting.

How to Submit my Ballot

  • By mail: Every county in Utah has the option for mail-in ballots for federal or state elections. Stamps are preferred but not necessary. If you miss the mail-in deadline, you can drop it off at a vote center on Election Day.  Most counties have ballot drop boxes as well. 
  • At a polling place or vote center: This is a great option for those who have difficulty reading or marking a paper ballot. Each polling place has accessible voting machines with options for enlarging text, audio ballot, changing contrast, accessible technology plug-ins etc. If you want to know more about the accessibility features, call us at (800) 662-9080 and ask what to expect.

2020 Utah Voter Communication Report

The DLC has long worked with the State and counties to improve the accessibility of our voting systems. From monitoring and advising on matters of physical accessibility of polling sites, to website accessibility, poll worker training, choosing voting equipment, and voting pilot programs, the DLC has sought to partner with Election Officials and community partners to develop informed and strategic election plans that fully serve all Utah constituents.

As Utah faces new challenges in keeping voting secure, accessible and safe, we present the following report as a snapshot of each county’s voter communication efforts:

Click here to read the full, county-by-county, Utah Voter Communication report

Click here for the accessible text version of the Utah Voter Communication report and cover letter

Check out the videos we created to help you navigate voting in Utah:

Voting by Mail or at an Election center in Utah (video)

Voting by Mail or at an Election center in Utah (video with audio description)

More Voting Resources

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