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7 LONG TITLE
8 General Description:
9 This bill modifies the Election Code to amend the date that absentee ballots may be
10 applied for and cast in person at the office of the election officer.
11 Highlighted Provisions:
12 This bill:
13 . requires that applications for absentee ballots be applied for no later than the Friday
14 before the election date, regardless of whether the absentee ballot will be voted by
15 mail or in person;
16 . requires that in-person absentee ballots be cast no later than the Friday before the
17 election date; and
18 . makes technical changes.
19 Monies Appropriated in this Bill:
21 Other Special Clauses:
23 Utah Code Sections Affected:
25 20A-3-304, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2004, Chapter 195
26 20A-3-306, as last amended by Laws of Utah 1997, Chapter 24
27 20A-3-408.5, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 382
29 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
30 Section 1. Section 20A-3-304 is amended to read:
31 20A-3-304. Application for absentee ballot -- Time for filing and voting.
32 (1) Any registered voter who wishes to vote an absentee ballot may either:
33 (a) file an absentee ballot application with the appropriate election officer for an
34 official absentee ballot as provided in this section; or
35 (b) vote in person at the office of the appropriate election officer as provided in Section
36 20A-3-306 .
37 (2) (a) Except as provided in Subsection (2)(b), each election officer shall prepare
38 blank applications for absentee ballot applications in substantially the following form:
39 "I, ____, a qualified elector, residing at ____ Street, ____ City, ____ County, Utah
40 apply for an official absentee ballot to be voted by me at the election.
41 Date ________ (month\day\year) Signed ___________________________
43 (b) Each election officer shall prepare blank applications for absentee ballot
44 applications for regular primary elections and for the Western States Presidential Primary in
45 substantially the following form:
46 "I, ____, a qualified elector, residing at ____ Street, ____ City, ____ County, Utah
47 apply for an official absentee ballot for the _______________ political party to be voted by me
48 at the primary election.
49 I understand that I must be affiliated with or authorized to vote the political party's
50 ballot that I request.
51 Dated _________ (month\day\year) ____ Signed ___________________________
53 (c) If requested by the applicant, the election officer shall:
54 (i) mail or fax the application blank to the absentee voter; or
55 (ii) deliver the application blank to any voter who personally applies for it at the office
56 of the election officer.
57 (3) (a) [
58 Subsection (3)(b), a voter who wishes to vote by absentee ballot shall file the application for an
59 absentee ballot with the appropriate election officer no later than the Friday before election day.
61 officer no later than 20 days before [
67 (4) (a) A county clerk may establish a permanent absentee voter list.
68 (b) The clerk shall place on the list the name of any person who:
69 (i) requests permanent absentee voter status; and
70 (ii) meets the requirements of this section.
71 (c) (i) Each year, the clerk shall mail a questionnaire to each person whose name is on
72 the absentee voter list.
73 (ii) The questionnaire shall allow the absentee person to verify the voter's residence.
74 (iii) The clerk may remove the names of any voter from the absentee voter registration
75 list if:
76 (A) the voter is no longer listed in the official register; or
77 (B) the voter fails to verify the voter's residence and absentee status.
78 (d) The clerk shall provide a copy of the permanent absentee voter list to election
79 officers for use in elections.
80 Section 2. Section 20A-3-306 is amended to read:
81 20A-3-306. Voting ballot -- Returning ballot.
82 (1) (a) To vote a mail-in absentee ballot, the absentee voter shall:
83 (i) complete and sign the affidavit on the envelope;
84 (ii) mark his votes on the absentee ballot;
85 (iii) place the voted absentee ballot in the envelope;
86 (iv) securely seal the envelope; and
87 (v) attach postage and deposit the envelope in the mail or deliver it in person to the
88 election officer from whom the ballot was obtained.
89 (b) To vote an absentee ballot in person at the office of the election officer, the absent
90 voter shall:
91 (i) complete and sign the affidavit on the envelope;
92 (ii) mark his votes on the absent-voter ballot;
93 (iii) place the voted absent-voter ballot in the envelope;
94 (iv) securely seal the envelope; and
95 (v) give the ballot and envelope to the election officer.
96 (2) An absentee ballot is not valid unless [
97 (a) [
98 and cast in person at the office of the appropriate election officer [
100 (b) in the case of an absentee ballot that is returned by mail or transmitted
101 electronically under Section 20A-3-408.5 , it is:
103 (ii) received in the office of the election officer before noon on the day of the official
104 canvass following the election.
105 Section 3. Section 20A-3-408.5 is amended to read:
106 20A-3-408.5. Electronic registration and voting by military and overseas citizen
107 voters in a hostile fire zone -- Procedures for accepting and processing a federal postcard
108 application form -- Returned ballot.
109 (1) A military voter, an overseas citizen voter, or other voter covered under the federal
110 Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) shall be allowed to
111 transmit their federal postcard application form electronically to the county clerk in their
112 county of residence if the voter is currently deployed in:
113 (a) a hostile fire zone; or
114 (b) other area where the mail service is unreliable and not sufficient to accommodate
115 timely mail service.
116 (2) A voter covered under Subsection (1), shall file the federal postcard application
117 form no later than 20 days before the day of the election in accordance with Subsection
118 20A-3-304 (3)[
119 (3) Upon receiving a federal postcard application form under this section a county clerk
120 shall review the federal postcard application form to verify:
121 (a) compliance with this section; and
122 (b) that the form has been properly completed and signed.
123 (4) Upon a determination of compliance under Subsection (3), a county clerk shall:
124 (a) register the voter, unless the voter is already registered;
125 (b) process the absentee ballot request; and
126 (c) electronically transmit a ballot to the voter who filed the federal postcard
127 application form.
128 (5) A voter who receives a ballot under this section may transmit the ballot
129 electronically to the county clerk in their county of residence if the voter:
130 (a) agrees to waive the right to a secret ballot in accordance with this section; and
131 (b) affirms in writing that the voter is currently deployed in:
132 (i) a hostile fire zone; or
133 (ii) other area where the mail service is unreliable and not sufficient to accommodate
134 timely mail service.
135 (6) The electronically transmitted ballot shall be accompanied by the following
136 statements: "I understand that by electronically transmitting my voted ballot I am voluntarily
137 waiving my right to a secret ballot. Signature of voter ________________ Date _______"; and
138 "I affirm that I am currently deployed in a hostile fire zone" or
139 "I affirm that I am currently deployed in an area where mail service is unreliable and not
140 sufficient to accommodate timely mail service."
141 (7) Notwithstanding the provisions of Subsections (5) and (6), the completed ballot
142 transmitted under this section is considered a private record under Title 63G, Chapter 2,
143 Government Records Access and Management Act.
144 (8) A ballot transmitted under Subsection (5) shall be:
145 (a) transmitted no later than the date that is one day before the election day in
146 accordance with Section 20A-3-406 ; and
147 (b) received by the county clerk before the date of the official canvass in accordance
148 with Subsection 20A-3-306 (2)(b).
149 (9) Upon the receipt of an electronically transmitted ballot under this section, a county
150 clerk shall:
151 (a) verify the voter's signature from the federal postcard application form and ensure
152 that it matches the voter's signature on the return ballot;
153 (b) duplicate the electronically transmitted ballot onto a regular ballot used by the
154 county for resident voters; and
155 (c) maintain the electronically transmitted ballot for 22 months in accordance with
156 Subsection 20A-4-202 (2).
Legislative Review Note
as of 2-9-09 5:39 PM