2020 Voter Guide
How to Register to Vote ✍️
Online voter registration is available for Utah residents with a valid driver’s license or state ID, by visiting the Utah Voter Registration website; the form must be submitted at least eleven days before an election. Note that if the voting address is not the same as the driver’s license address, the license must be updated with the Driver License Division before registering.
Mail-in voter registration is available by filling out the State of Utah Voter Registration form found here; the form must be postmarked at least 30 days before an election, or delivered in person to the county clerk at least eleven days before an election. Note that one of the following is required:
- Utah driver’s license number;
- Utah state identification number; or
- Last four digits of your Social Security number.
In-person voter registration is available at the county clerk’s office in your county, as well as at the Department of Motor Vehicles, Department of Workforce Services, and Utah State Department of Health; in-person registration must be done at least eleven days before an election.
Special Exceptions and Processes
Members of the military can register online or register and request an absentee ballot by using the Federal Post Card Application from the Federal Voter Assistance Program.
Homeless persons can register to vote without a home address, by identifying a place of residence (which might be a street corner or park) and a mailing address (which might be a shelter or outreach center).
Utah residents are not permitted to vote while incarcerated. Convicted felons’ voting rights are automatically restored upon receiving parole or probation, or being released from incarceration.
How to Check your Voter Status
Voters can find their current registration status, update registration, request a mail-in ballot, track their mail and provisional ballots, and find polling and drop-box locations by visiting vote.utah.gov. 🙌
Options for Voting in Utah
Utah offers voting by mail, early voting and absentee voting, in addition to voting at the polls on election day.
Voting by Mail 📬
Voting by mail is the most popular option, with 90 percent of ballots cast by mail in 2018, according to the lieutenant governor’s director of elections. Utah has “all-mail elections,” meaning that every registered voter receives a ballot in the mail. Voters have the choice of casting that ballot by mail, placing the ballot in a drop box, or going to a polling location in person. Drop box and polling locations are available by entering your address in the “How and where can I vote?” section of vote.utah.gov.
Absentee Voting 🧳
Absentee voting is most often used by deployed military members, students studying abroad, and those serving LDS missions. However, anyone who is registered to vote in Utah may vote by absentee ballot. Absentee ballots can be requested online; to be eligible to vote in the presidential primary election, this ballot request must be received by Feb. 27.
Early Voting 🗓
Early voting allows Utah residents to cast ballots in person prior to an election. Dates and locations for early voting in each county are available from the county clerk’s office or web page, or by visiting vote.utah.gov.
Election-day Voting 🗳
Election-day voting requires one form of currently valid photo ID or two forms or currently valid non-photo ID that establish the voter’s name and residence within the voting district. Voters can find their polling location, with the date and times polls will be open, at vote.utah.gov.
This is selected as part of the voter registration process. Voters wishing to change their party affiliation must reregister.
Party affiliation is not required to vote in Utah. In fact, 37 percent of Utah voters are unaffiliated. (In comparison, 46 percent are registered as Republican and 13 percent as Democratic, with the remaining 4 percent divided among the Independent American, Libertarian, Constitution, Green, and United Utah parties.)
There are party requirements for voting in some primary elections, however. Utah’s Republican party has a closed primary, meaning that only voters registered as Republican can choose the GOP candidate on Super Tuesday in March. The Democratic presidential primary is open, meaning that voters of any affiliation (including unaffiliated) are free to cast ballots. Each person may vote in only one primary.
Only voters who have already registered with the Republican party can vote in Super Tuesday’s Republican primary. The Democratic party has an open primary, meaning that voters registered in any party as well as unaffiliated voters can cast their ballots in the Democratic primary on Super Tuesday. Unaffiliated voters must request a Democratic by-mail ballot by Feb. 25; they can also receive a Democratic ballot by voting in person during early voting or on election day. Of course, each voter can only cast a ballot in one party’s primary.
👉 Need to update your voter registration or change your affiliation? No problem. Party affiliation must be changed eleven days prior to the June 30th primary election in order to be eligible to vote. Just visit vote.utah.gov.
Voter ID requirements
At the polls, voters are required to present one form of currently valid identification containing their name and photograph, such as a driver’s license, passport, tribal ID card, or other type of ID listed at voteinfo.utah.gov.
Voters without a current photo ID may vote if they provide two documents containing their name and showing that they live in the voting precinct, such as a bank statement, paycheck, certified birth certificate, or other type of ID listed at voteinfo.utah.gov.
Super Tuesday Primary
This year marks Utah’s first time as a Super Tuesday state, joining 10 other states that have also scheduled their presidential primaries on March 3.
Utah’s state-run presidential primary election represents a change from 2016, when voters chose their presidential candidates at party-run caucuses. At that time, a large voter turnout resulted in overcrowded polling places, long lines and insufficient ballots. “After the 2016 caucuses, the chairs of both the Republican and Democratic parties asked that the state hold a presidential primary in the next presidential cycle, not caucuses,” said Sen. Curt Bramble, who sponsored the 2019 Utah senate bill that requires presidential primary elections to be held.
To register to vote in the Super Tuesday presidential primary election on March 3, mail-in registration must be postmarked on or before Feb. 3; the deadline for registration at the county clerk’s office or online is Feb. 25. Same-day registration is also available at early voting locations and at the polls on election day.
How to Vote In the Presidential Primary🗳
As we’ve had a lot of questions about how to vote in the presidential primary election, we put together an easy-to-use list of directions. The process to vote in the primary depends on your party affiliation, which you should have indicated when you last registered to vote:
If you are affiliated with the Republican Party, you should have already received your ballot in the mail. Be sure to fill out your ballot and mail it on or before Monday, March 2nd!
If you are affiliated with the Democratic Party, you should have already received your ballot in the mail. Be sure to fill out your ballot and mail it on or before Monday, March 2nd!
If you are affiliated with the Republican Party but would like to vote in the Democratic Party primary, DO NOT vote in both primaries. You can only vote in one or the other. Bring your ballot with you to a vote center on election day, Tuesday, March 3rd, and request a Democratic primary ballot. You can find voting locations here.
- You cannot vote in the Republican Party primary because it is a closed primary. The deadline to affiliate was February 3rd.
- To vote by mail in the Democratic Party primary, you must request a ballot from your county clerk no later than Tuesday, February 25th, a week from today! Just call or email your county clerk’s office (find that info here) and request a ballot for the Democratic primary. Be sure to fill out your ballot and mail it on or before Monday, March 2nd!
- To vote in person in the Democratic Party primary, go to a vote center on Tuesday, March 3rd and request a Democratic primary ballot. You can find voting locations here.
If you are unsure of your affiliation and would like to check your voter registration, you can do so here.
What are Caucuses, Conventions, and Primaries?
- Every two years Utah’s major political parties host neighborhood caucuses.
- These caucuses are organized by county party leadership.
- Each caucus is not only divided by party, but also by house district. This means that there is a Democratic, Republican, and United Utah Party caucus in each house district.
- Caucuses are important for everyone because they offer voters like YOU the opportunity to organize with members of your affiliated party in your community, discuss issues you care about, and additionally meet your local politicians.
- Caucuses are also a chance to run for, or vote for delegates in your house district.
- What’s a DELEGATE? Let’s find out!
- A delegate is a person who represents you based on neighborhood boundaries called precincts. Depending on your precinct, you may be represented by one or two delegates.
- These delegates represent your interests at county and state party conventions. This means they attend these annual conventions to vote on things such as party platform and bylaws as well as nominate local, county, and state candidates. For example, at their 2018 convention, Democrats nominated Ben McAdams as their congressional candidate in district 4.
- Because delegates are selected by neighborhood, they also serve as grassroot organizers when election time comes around. Campaigns work with local delegates to organize precinct-by-precinct.
- The delegate selection plan for national delegates is updated every four hours and these individuals get to nominate presidential candidates.
- Every year, Utah’s major political parties host county and state conventions.
- Individuals that were elected at their neighborhood caucus as well other party leaders serve as voting delegates.
- Usually held in the spring, each county convention is responsible for nominating candidates whose districts fall completely within county lines. State conventions are responsible for nominating multi-county candidates such as a gubernatorial or congressional candidate.
- Conventions also offer a great time to meet other amazing activists and candidates! Even if you’re not a delegate you should stop by. Check your party’s website at the beginning of each year for details.
- Everyone knows about general elections – they’re all over the news every time November rolls around. But, in order to become a candidate you must first get on the ballot.
- When multiple candidates in the same party compete for the same seat, there may be a primary election to determine who the nominee is.
- A lot of times, candidates are decided at county or state party conventions, but if no candidate receives 60% or more of the vote, the top candidates will proceed to a primary.
- In a primary, anyone who is a registered party member has the opportunity to vote (via mail-in ballot or in-person) for the candidate of their choice. If you are unaffiliated, you can still request a Democratic ballot. Republican primaries are closed to just Republicans.
COVID-19 UPDATES ON CAUCUSES & CONVENTIONS
Democratic Party Updates
From Nadia Mahallati, UDP Vice Chair
- Caucus night is CANCELLED.
- Existing delegates and precinct officers will stay as delegates and precinct officers.
- Vacancies will be filled by normal processes; there will be a way for people who are not current delegates and precinct officers to submit their name for consideration of filling vacancies (NOTE: This is done on a county level. For example, the Weber County Democrats are using a google form to fill vacancies.
- Counties and state convention will be conducted through phone balloting. County convention will be on April 11, 2020, and state convention will be held April 25, 2020.
- Volunteers will “register” the delegates to cross them off the rolls and verify identities, and to provide ballots for those who don’t already have a ballot.
- There will be minor changes to how at-large national delegates are selected, pending what the DNC allows.
- We will used ranked choice voting (RCV) to ensure there is only one round of voting (counties who already have RCV will use their same process, if not, they will use instant run-off to ease in counting).
- Candidates can submit a video to the party (or the party can help them record one) to be circulated online, and distribute them to delegates for their review. There will also be candidate forums (sans audience) also hosted online and distributed.
Republican Party Updates
From Derek Brown, UTGOP Chair
- Caucus night POSTPONED.
- No in-person convention on April 25th.
- Vetting and candidate voting will occur online.
- Delegates will continue to serve as state delegates.
United Utah Party Updates
From their Facebook page
UTAH PRIMARY - JUNE 30, 2020
The Democratic and Republican parties will be holding a Primary Election. Registered Democrats and Unaffiliated voters who have requested a Democratic ballot may vote in the Democratic Primary. Only registered Republicans may vote in the Republican Primary. The political party selected on your most recent registration form determines the ballot you will receive.
Voters may only vote one Primary ballot. In order to change party affiliation, a voter must re-register to vote. (Party affiliations can be changed up to 11 days prior to a primary election.) The next scheduled Primary Election is June 30th – the deadline to change party affiliation for the June Primary is June 19th.
Mail-in ballots must be postmarked on or before June 30, 2020 (Election Day!)