URGENT: Before 10 a.m. TOMORROW – Protect Utahns’ access to voting in the 2020 election

August 19th, 2020|URGENT Action|0 Comments

Take action before 10 am tomorrow! Coronavirus poses health risks to voters and poll workers that requires special election procedures. During the June Primary, a bill was passed in a special session to enact special procedures specific to that election. TOMORROW (August 20) the Utah State Legislature will vote on a bill, SB 6007 Amendments to Elections (Sen. Harper/Rep. Handy) to make some necessary changes for the general election. BUT this bill would be greatly improved with a few small revisions!

County clerks have asked for revisions to ensure ballots reach voters and can be received on time to be counted, given ongoing challenges with mail delivery through the Postal Service. In addition, election experts recommend expanded ballot drop box access for voters who choose not to vote in person.

Ask your state senator and state representative to request and support these minor changes to improve access to voting and ensure all eligible Utahns are afforded their legal right to cast a ballot on November 3!

Simply scroll down and click “Start Writing” to begin.

What does SB 6007 Amendments to Elections do?

  • Requires counties to provide in-person voting locations, both for early voting and on election day by traditional voting or outdoor voting
  • Allows the Lt. Governor to issue an emergency order that 1) would cancel in-person indoor voting locations and same day registration and provisional ballots if no alternative location is set up by a county and 2) extended the ballot postmark deadline to election day rather than the day before the election
  • Prohibit the practice of “ballot harvesting”, except in specific cases
  • Repeal all provisions of the bill on January 1, 2021, except the ballot harvesting provision

(Remember to personalize your comments for the greatest impact! Why do YOU support this proposal?)

SB 6007 is an important bill, but it would be greatly improved with a few small revisions. Write a brief email to your legislators asking them to request and support the following small revisions to SB 6007 Amendments to Elections to ensure all eligible Utahns are afforded their right to cast a ballot in the 2020 Election:

  1. Allow ballots to be sent out 28 days ahead of the election rather than 21 to overcome Postal Service delays and ensure clerks have enough time to deliver ballots to all eligible Utahns.
  2. Extend the canvass period by one week to ensure clerks have enough time to count ballots, ensuring all ballots arrive in time to be counted and leaving no ballot uncounted.
  3. Place additional secure drop boxes in the counties starting at least 7 days before the election, instead of 2 days before, to give Utahns more options to safely cast their ballot.
  4. Add a line: “Drop boxes must be located at each county clerk’s office and at least two other designated locations within the county” to ensure a minimum number of drop box locations are met in each county.

Suggested talking points:

    • The Utah County Clerks have requested revisions to send out ballots early . This request makes administrative sense, given the uncertainty around the virus and how efficient the post office will be in delivering the ballots.
    • The canvass deadline should also be extended, per the clerks’ request. There isn’t a good reason not to do this (other than the fact that election results won’t be final for a bit longer). Although most counties didn’t need extra time to count ballots in the Primary, there will be a significantly higher number of ballots to count in the general election.
    • Ensuring there are a basic minimum number of drop boxes per county and allowing more time for voters to utilize them expands access to voting, offers more safe options during the pandemic and improves options for voters who have turned to ballot harvesting in the past in order to get their ballots delivered.

How to make sure your letter is successful:

  1. Use a clear and specific subject heading.
  2. Start with a salutation (“Dear …”).
  3. Be CIVIL, PERSONAL and as CONCISE as possible.
  4. Mention that you are a CONSTITUENT and include your full address with zip code.
  5. Sign your name at the end.

Write Your Letter Here

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