Southern Utah News Articles
Kane County voters offered ballot options
Kane County offers numerous voter options for those wanting to voice their opinion and perform their civic duty in the upcoming mid-term election. It appears the only thing the Kane County Clerk’s Office can’t do to help the election turnout is fix voter apathy!
With the November 4 election under a month away, Kane County voters have been making their voices heard through mail voting. Kane County mailed out the ballots on October 7. (Mail-in ballots must be postmarked before November 3). People can register in person at the courthouse or online by October 20. “In outlying areas, it’s easier and better,” said Kane County Clerk Karla Johnson. “It’s more effective cost-wise, and those who don’t want to do it in this manner can go to the courthouse or vote center.”
Although nine of Utah’s 29 counties are completely by mail, Kane County is still mixed. In Kane County, all precincts under 400 voters are vote by mail, with a vote center located at the North Event Center in Orderville to address issues, and for those who want to vote by machines.
Everyone can vote by absentee ballot, or early voting at the clerk’s office October 21-31 during regular office hours. On Election Day, all precincts with over 400 registered voters will have a polling location in their precinct (Kanab 1, 2, 3 and 4).
Kane County joins only three other counties in the state; Salt Lake, Weber and Davis, in a pilot program for same day registration. Residents who are not in the registration book for one reason or other will be allowed to vote a provisional ballot, and if they meet the criteria for voting had they been registered prior, their vote will count.
“We supported this pilot program because we feel that it allows for more participation in the election process, while still requiring voters to prove residency and eligibility,” explained Johnson. “We had two voters whose vote counted in the primary through this process, and we are tracking the results for the State Legislature.”
The county is also involved in Every Vote Counts. This program works for people who are in the military or overseas. They can print their ballot online, and then mail or e-mail it to the clerk’s office.
Why does Kane County use the different voting options? For many reasons! Primarily voter turnout is much higher by mail. Added to that is the rapidly approaching ‘End of Life’ on the current voting machines, with no replacement system available for purchase.
Kane County has purchased extra machines, and has a certified repair person, Carol Lee Hunt, who can legally repair the machines. By taking this stopgap measure, Kane County is trying to reduce the workload on the current machines by judicious use of mail balloting. All in all, they are striving to extend the life of our voting system by hopefully another five years. “If the machines go down, we still have a redundancy,” said Johnson.
There are currently 3908 eligible voters in Kane County, with 10 voting precincts. The Clerk’s Office is happy to report that Kane County has one of the highest mid-term voting percentages in the state. “We’re always one of the highest in the state. We’re thrilled to be able to provide all the extra services to make voting easier for Kane County.”