SALT LAKE CITY — A group calling itself Secure Vote Utah is hoping to get enough signatures to put an initiative on the 2022 ballot to do away with Utah’s mail-in elections in favor of all paper ballots. The proposal also scraps early voting and most absentee balloting and makes it more difficult to register to vote.
The proposal filed with the Lieutenant Governor’s office makes several significant changes to how the state conducts elections.
As it stands, every registered voter in the state is sent a ballot through the mail. Those ballots must be postmarked the day before the election, and voters can also drop off ballots at official drop boxes before the polls close on Election Day. The Legislature first approved the law allowing elections to be conducted entirely by mail in 2012.
If voters approve the initiative, nearly all voting would use paper ballots, marked by a pen or pencil, at neighborhood polling places. The only exceptions are for disabled individuals who need a mechanical method for voting.
The last time Utah conducted most elections using paper ballots was in 1986, when 22 of 29 counties used paper ballots. Punch-card ballots in the other counties that year.
This article is published through the Utah News Collaborative, a partnership of news organizations in Utah that aim to inform readers across the state.