ELECTIONS

Utah County ballots say postage required, one senator says it’s a ‘political move’

Jun 6, 2024, 9:00 PM | Updated: Jun 11, 2024, 10:51 am

A Utah County ballot drop box in 2022. Recently sent out Utah County ballots say you need to provid...

A Utah County ballot drop box in 2022. Recently sent out Utah County ballots say you need to provide postage for mail-in ballots. (Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News)

(Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News)

Tune in to Dave & Dujanovic

PROVO, Utah — If you vote in Utah County, you received a note with your ballot indicating that you’ll need to put a stamp on your return envelope.

Jeff Caplan spoke 👇 with Utah County Senator Mike McKell and Utah County Clerk Aaron Davidson about this move.

 

A ‘mostly political’ move

Utah County Republican Senator Mike McKell, R-Salem, called this move “mostly political.”

He told KSL NewsRadio that this is the Utah County Clerk’s way of trying to convince people not to use the mail-in voting system.

“It’s political because the Utah County Commissioners actually budgeted for postage. We’ve always done postage, it’s always been covered in Utah County,” McKell said.

And it’ political, McKell said, because in Utah Count voting in person isn’t a reality for everyone. “There’s only 9 cities in Utah County where you can vote,” he said. 

Related: State Auditor says very few bathroom bill complaints made on “good faith”

There aren’t voting centers in cities like Santaquin, Salem, Eagle Mountain, or even the growing city of Vineyard, he said.

“It’s just unusual to me. Voters just need to know that if they don’t have a stamp … you can drop in your ballot. It will make it, it will count.”

Paying for the “convenience” of mail-in voting

Utah County Clerk Aaron Davidson told KSL NewsRadio that the note is for those people who can’t get a postage stamp.

“I’m concerned about ballot custody. I’m trying to promote the use of our drop boxes, or voting in person, where we maintain custody over those ballots.” 

Postage stamps cost $.68 and Davidson thinks the average voter has enough dignity to want to pay for the convenience of mailing in their vote. 

“Someone has to pay the postage. If someone doesn’t put a stamp on (the ballot) that makes other taxpayers pay that postage for them,” he said.

Davidson said ultimately, he’d rather see the use of in-person voting.

“If it’s dropped off in the mailbox, we lose custody of it. I trust the U.S. postal service is doing their best … but I have no idea what’s happening in the post office.”

The takeaway

The postal service said they’ll process a ballot, whether or not it has postage

KSL NewsRadio’s Kira Hoffelmeyer contributed to this story. 

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Utah County ballots say postage required, one senator says it’s a ‘political move’