COVID may have created a nationwide rush to “by-mail” voting, but Kane County and the State of Utah are way ahead of the game. We have been using by-mail voting for years.

Kane County went to by-mail for the Bullfrog precinct in 2004, and moved to countywide by-mail voting eight years ago. Kane County has 18 years’ experience with by-mail voting. Our neighbor Garfield County began voting by-mail over 30 years ago.

By-mail voting is convenient. Kane County voters love the ease of voting by mail. They love having time to study the ballot and research the candidates and issues.

They no longer have to worry about going to the voting booth and being surprised by a ballot proposition or candidate that they forgot about or don’t know anything about.

Can I trust the U.S. postal service and by-mail balloting? Yes. We have a close, excellent relationship with the Postal Service.

Here’s an example of how we work together. A group of Kane County ballots were misdirected from the Salt Lake post office to Cedar City instead of Kanab. The Cedar City post office called the Kanab Post office and the Kanab Postmaster drove to Cedar City, picked up the ballots, and personally delivered them to the Kane County Clerk’s office that day. The Postal Service cares deeply about providing reliable election mail service.

Voters still love to hand deliver the ballot to the Clerk/Auditor’s office, say hi, know that their ballot will be processed, and get their “I voted” sticker. And we love to see them!

We compare EVERY voter’s signature with multiple signatures that we have on file. Signatures do not always match. We can tell as a voter ages and their signature ages.

If we find a signature does not match, we contact the voter immediately. Did they vote their ballot? Is this in fact their signature? People break their arms, have strokes and hand surgeries, and we catch the differences. And we verify the signatures and count their ballots.

If they really did not sign the envelope, we spoil the original ballot in our system and send them a new one, or let them come and vote it right in the office.

FYI – No! A wife/husband is not allowed to sign their spouse’s ballot for them. They have to sign it themselves.

No! Parents cannot sign for a child that is off to college, or on a mission. Doing so is illegal.

Sometimes family members mix up their return envelopes and sign on another family member’s envelope. We can quickly tell that the signature doesn’t match. So we set the ballot aside and look for the other ballots from that same household to come through. We sort them out and verify the signatures.

If they match, we accept them and move them on in our process. If not, we ask the voters to resolve the issue. We also notify the household of the mix-up.

Can dead people vote? No! We check the obituaries every week. We get notices from the health department for every death that has a Kane County driver’s license. We are so blessed to live in a county where we know just about everyone.

Interestingly, over the years we have had several people receive their ballot, vote it, return it and then pass away after voting but before Election Day. In these rare instances, yes, their vote counts, because they were alive at the time they voted.

The State of Utah has a “real time” voter roll, meaning if you move to Kane County from another county, we transfer your registration from that county.

If both counties happen to send you a ballot, the first one in is counted, the other one is not. When you move from another state the 30 day residency is vital to prevent the overlap.

Rumors and misinformation abound on Facebook, the Internet, and even the news. Very rarely does it relate to Utah and/or Kane County. If you have any questions, please call us. We invite you to observe the process, but please know that we will be following COVID protocols.

For information about Kane County elections, watch the Southern Utah News, and the www.Kane.Utah.Gov/ Clerk/Auditor Page.

Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, and VOTE!