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Southern Utah election officials advise mailing ballots before Monday deadline

Posted at 5:40 PM, Oct 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-27 19:56:31-04

ST. GEORGE, Utah — A possible postmark delay has an election official in southern Utah asking voters to mail in their ballots before Monday.

“We’ve done our due diligence to kind of read into who exactly we are voting for and why,” St. George voter Natalie Leany said.

The mother of four is in the middle of a big move and plans to wait until Election Day to submit her ballot.

“I think this year, I don’t know, I want to be a part of history and I walk in person and put my ballot in. I don’t know. I think I just want to experience that,” Leany said.

With a record turnout expected, election officials urge voters to get those ballots in as soon as possible. For those waiting until the last minute, mail-in ballots must be postmarked by Monday, Nov. 2.

“It could be critical — you put your ballot in on Monday afternoon, it might not get postmarked until Tuesday and that won’t work,” Washington County clerk/auditor Kim Hofer said in a video posted on the county’s Facebook page.

The U.S. Postal Service processes central and southern Utah mail in three locations: the Wasatch Front, Grand Junction, Colorado, and Las Vegas, Nevada. In the video, Hofer says the lag time could prevent a ballot from being counted.

“It may be, if you drop your ballot off on Monday November 2, when it has to be postmarked, it could go to Provo and be postmarked the 3rd and come back, and that will not count,” said Hofer.

USPS spokesman Floyd Wagoner tells FOX 13 that all mail, including ballots, is postmarked the day it is received.

“With a record number of people across the country voting by mail, the U.S. Postal Service’s number one priority between now and the November election is the secure, timely delivery of the nation’s Election Mail. Our message for those who are eligible and choose to vote through the U.S. Mail has been and is to plan ahead and vote early,” Wagoner said in a statement.

“For domestic, nonmilitary voters who choose to use the mail to return a completed ballot, our general recommendation is that, as a common-sense measure, to mail your completed ballot before Election Day, and at least one week prior to your state’s deadline.”

State election officials urge voters to drop off their ballots in a designated box, securely bypassing the mail system altogether.

“I just think it’s our civic duty,” Leany said.