A new law removing requirements that election registrars allow prospective voters into their homes has everybody breathing a little easier.
Utah is the last state to do away with neighborhood registration. Davis County Clerk Margene Isom said most states abandoned the practice years ago because of the potential for crime."They don't have this problem out in the rural areas as much as we do along the Wasatch Front," she said.
In the past, registrars' addresses and phone numbers were listed in the newspaper for the convenience of last-minute, would-be voters. That, however, has led to some problems. Two years ago, a woman Davis County registrar was contacted by a Utah State Prison inmate, who wanted to befriend her.
This bothered the woman and caused a liability concern for the county.
"I think it is a safety issue," said Davis County Commissioner Carol R. Page.
The practice was eliminated by a bill that passed the Utah Legislature during special session on April 18. Clerks now have the option of having voter registration in public places.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Brian Allen, R-Salt Lake, became effective April 30 to meet this year's registration deadlines.