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Early voting locations open in Utah, but officials still urge mail-in

FILE: Early voting opened for in-person voters in Salt Lake County during the mid-term election in 2018. In 2020, dates for early voting vary county by county. (Photo: Ravell Call, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Early voting begins Tuesday in some locations around Utah.

Counties like Salt Lake and Summit opened locations where people can vote in-person this week. Davis, Utah, Weber, Tooele and others will open early voting locations next week. Some counties are not offering physical locations for early voting.

Related: Visit the 2020 Election Guide to contact your county clerk and find out when you can vote early

However, elections officials say in this time of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s better to fill out the ballot you got in the mail.

“For the ease and convenience of everyone, we would encourage people to vote the ballot we mailed to you. You can choose how you cast it, but please vote that one,” said Davis County Clerk/Auditor Curtis Koch.

“Our goal is to keep the public and poll workers safe,” he said.

Early voting locations benefit some Utah populations

Elections officials say early voting locations are designed to help voters who need help because of a disability. For example, voters who need to use a voting machine with features like an audio ballot.

People can also go to a location if they need to replace their ballot, or who did not get a ballot in the mail. You can check the status of your ballot at vote.utah.gov.

Koch said if voters come in to an early voting location, or come in on election day, he will be printing out the same ballot they were sent in the mail.

“Take the ballot you receive in the mail, choose how you want to vote it. Bring it in, drop it off, put it in the mail — we encourage you to vote that ballot,” he said.

Safeguards protect against fraud

There are safeguards in place to make sure people don’t vote by mail AND in person.

“If you received a mail ballot, you are encouraged to skip the lines at voting locations by postmarking your ballot by November 2nd or depositing it in a county ballot drop box before 8:00 pm on Election Day,” says the Salt Lake County Clerk’s website.

Your county clerk’s website will have information on locations for early voting, locations of drop boxes, and all the deadlines.

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