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What you need to know: last-minute voting in the Utah primary election

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SALT LAKE CITY – The June 2020 Primary Election in Utah has many hotly contested races, including the race for the Republican nominee for both the governor and attorney general. 

But what if you have not turned in your mail-in ballot yet? 

While voters technically have until 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday to get their ballots postmarked, Utah County Clerk Amelia Powers-Gardner advises last-minute voters to turn them in earlier. 

“Our biggest concern as county clerks is that somebody drops their ballot in a mailbox at 7:50 [p.m. on Tuesday] thinking they made the deadline. Those ballots are most likely not going to be postmarked until 11:00 p.m. or, possibly, even the next morning,” Powers-Gardner says. 

That’s why she’s recommending putting your ballot in the mail early Monday morning or taking it to an official drop box in your county, which is accepting votes until Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. 

What if your ballot was lost or you never got one? 

It’s best to call your county clerk directly if you never received your ballot. However, seven counties are doing drive-through locations. 

“Utah, Weber, Davis, Salt Lake, Iron, Tooele, and Box Elder counties, only those seven counties are doing drive-through locations. Those drive-through locations aren’t traditional polling locations. They’re ballot replacement locations. Meaning, you drive up, we scan your driver’s license, and then we hand you a printed ballot,” Powers-Gardner says. 

People who use the drive-through locations are being strongly encouraged to wear a mask, while it’s required to do so in Salt Lake County.

Once you get your ballot, you will have to fill it out at another spot–not in line–then drive it back to the dropbox. 

Another change unique to this primary election in Utah? Party registration. 

Only voters who are currently registered as unaffiliated can switch this late in the game to Republican to vote in that primary. 

It is also impossible to register to vote in this election at this point. Earlier this year, Utah lawmakers made some temporary changes to voting laws in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and pushed the voter registration deadline back to June 19th.