INSIDE SOURCES

Municipal elections are the most important vote — so cast your ballot Tuesday

Aug 4, 2021, 5:35 PM

municipal elections...

FILE: Bea Lumpkin, 102, cast her vote in the 2020 election by mail, decked out in personal protective equipment. Photo: Soren Kyale/CTU

SALT LAKE CITY — More important than the presidential election or congressional contests or gubernatorial races are municipal elections, which in Utah are Tuesday.

Voters will be able to select their choice for mayor, city council and other local leadership position for the next four years. The winners and their agendas will impact their constituents’ lives more significantly than elections for governor or US senator.

Utah County Clerk and Auditor Josh Daniels joined Inside Sources host Boyd Matheson to discuss what you need to know about your upcoming municipal election.

Register before the municipal elections

Daniels said the most important thing to ask about this election is: Are you registered to vote?

“Most people are registered to vote, but if you’re not, you need to register or update your registration so that ballots can be sent to your current address,” Daniels said. “If you’re not registered to vote, it’s still not too late. You just have to show up on Election Day, which is next Tuesday.”

You can find out about your registration status and update it if needed at  Vote.Utah.gov.

Daniels said most counties mailed out the ballots for the municipal elections on Tuesday already.

“The ballot is probably on your kitchen counter. You can look at the candidates and research their positions,” he said.

Rank-choice voting

Read more: Primary elections take place Tuesday, but many cities picked ranked choice instead

Daniels said 23 Utah cities will be conducting rank-choice voting on Tuesday.

He said cities can choose to forgo the primary election and have all the candidates listed on the general-election ballot.

“Using rank choice voting, you have a few more names to research, but you will be voting on those candidates in the general election in November,” Daniels said.

Rank-choice voting also it saves cities money to have only one election instead of the primary and the general.

Is it safe?

“What do you want voters to know about what’s taking place, what’s happening to make sure that the elections are secure, that they’re safe and that we can trust the results?” Boyd asked.

Voting by mail raised safety and security concerns for states that were new to the practice during the 2020 elections, but Utah has been conducting mail-in voting since 2008, Daniels said.

“Counties are very careful about the voter list in terms of updating addresses and removing folks who have died or inactivating voters who have moved away,” Daniels said. “We match those signatures that are on file from your registration records [with the mail-in ballot signature] to determine identity.”

Use the ballot drop-off box

To ensure your election office gets your ballot faster and to save on postage, Daniels recommends dropping your ballot in the county ballot box.

“But if you are going to mail your ballot, you have to make sure it’s postmarked the day before Election Day — that’s next Monday,” he said.

But if it is Election Day and you forgot to mail your ballot, drop it in a ballot drop box before the polls close at 8 p.m.

Find the location of drop boxes in Salt Lake County here.

Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson can be heard weekdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app. 

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Municipal elections are the most important vote — so cast your ballot Tuesday