MANTI — Voter fraud has been at the forefront of issues being covered by the media for quite some time. From people voting for the dead to fake ballot return locations registered voters have heard about cases from across the country that raise concern about whether their vote really counts.
So, what is being done here in Sanpete to ensure the election is not rigged or manipulated? Sanpete County Clerk Sandy Neill answered many of those questions.
Voting for the deceased
The state of Utah sends records of deceased people to the county through its election software. Each clerk’s office is responsible to match those people with the voter registration, and mark them as deceased to remove them from their rolls.
They also check the funeral announcements on KMTI and the local mortuaries for voters that passed away. Occasionally a voter passes away in another state. If so, the county may not receive that information to remove the voter.
The list of voters is sent to the company that sends the ballots several weeks before they are mailed to the voter. If a person dies after the list is sent, or passes away in another state, a ballot may be sent. But the ballot envelope must be signed by the voter to count.
County officials check every signature to verify that it was voted by the registered voter. If the family receives the ballot for their deceased family member, the County Clerk’s office asks that someone calls so they can remove that person from their rolls. The county will then have them destroy the ballot and envelope.
A voter is not allowed to authorize anyone else to sign their envelope for them. If the signature does not match the one that is on file, the clerk’s office contacts the voter to see what happened. The clerk can have the voter come in and sign the envelope or they can make other arrangements to obtain their signature. It’s very helpful if the clerk’s office has voters’ email addresses and phone numbers so they can contact voters in time to make their vote still count.
Voting from out of town
Registered voters who are going to be out of town between Oct. 13 and election day (Nov. 3) can go to vote.utah.gov to make arrangements for the ballot to be mailed to their temporary location.
The post office is not allowed to forward your ballot. It must be done through the clerk’s office. Ballots have been sent to the military voters and out of country voters that requested them.
Sanpete County has four secure boxes for dropping your ballots off. The locations are listed at vote.utah.gov. They are at the Manti Courthouse, Ephraim City Building, Gunnison City Building, and Mt. Pleasant City Building. They will open when the ballots are sent, and remain open until Nov. 3 at 8 p.m. voters may also drop off completed ballots in the signed and sealed envelope at the County Clerk’s office at 160 N Main, Suite 202, Manti, Utah.
Early voting will be held Oct. 20-30 on business days. Please study the issues on the ballot you received in the mail, by going to vote.utah.gov. Click on “Learn about candidates and issues”. Enter your street address, city and ZIP. It will show you all the issues and candidates that will be on your ballot.
There will be links for more information for each candidate and issue. When ready, mark your ballot. If you choose to vote early, please wear a mask, bring your voted ballot, envelope, and your driver license.
If you have problems with your ballot, please call the Sanpete County Clerk’s Office at 435-835-2131 extension 5. We may be they may be able to save you a trip to their office. Please vote as early as possible to help keep things moving so election results can be tabulated more quickly after polling stops.