Your Election FAQs

Posted at 10:01 PM, Nov 05, 2012
and last updated 2012-11-06 00:24:43-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- State election officials are bracing for high voter turnout on Tuesday, as high as 75-80 percent voter turnout statewide.

"We're excited," said state elections director Mark Thomas. "We're here. This is what we do, and so we want to make sure folks have an easy time getting out to the polls."

The polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. Thomas said with high voter turnout, people should not be surprised to wait more than 20 minutes in line to vote.

On FOX 13's Facebook page, questions were solicited about voting and what you can and can't do.

"What do you need to bring with you to vote?" asked Penny Crabtree Johnson.

Thomas said a driver's license, a state ID card or a utility bill with your name and address on it.

"Anything that can be used to show this is you," Thomas said.

"Can I still vote where I'm registered to vote at?" asked Ryan Sajec.

Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen said it is illegal to vote at the place where you were formerly registered to vote at.

"Because they would be voting for candidates that don't represent them," she said. "They can go and vote at their new polling location, and it's a provisional ballot."

Many of FOX 13's Facebook friends were perplexed that there's a dress code.

"What can you wear? Since when is there a mandate on voting attire?" asked Brandi Miller Hays.

Actually, it is illegal to wear a candidate's T-shirts, pins, stickers or anything like that.

"They're not supposed to wear any election material," Swensen said. "That would be considered electioneering. We definitely discourage that."

It is also illegal to have campaign materials within 150 feet of a polling place.

Voters can take someone in the ballot booth with you, but that person cannot tell you how to vote. That is a federal crime and the U.S. Justice Department will be watching on Election Day for voter fraud and intimidation.

"It would be any effort to change your vote, somebody trying to tell you how to vote, somebody who changes the voting tally, somebody who tries to buy your vote," said Carlie Christensen, an assistant U.S. Attorney for Utah. "That's what we're talking about when we talk about voter fraud."

The Justice Department's Civil Rights Division has set up this website and hotline to take complaints and questions about voter fraud and intimidation.

With early voting and absentee ballots, Heather Gayler asked about hers.

"I was sent an absentee ballot, lost it, now I found it, can I still vote?" she asked.

Thomas says yes.

"You can go to your polling location and vote that ballot," he said. "You'll have to vote a provisional ballot if you don't have that absentee ballot to turn in and spoil. Otherwise, you'll just vote a regular ballot as long as you turn that in."

If you have any questions, county clerks and state elections officials have hotlines set up. You can find answers to frequently asked questions here.

Here's some additional information from the Salt Lake County Clerk's Office.