SALT LAKE CITY — A bill to help maximize countable Utah voter ballots passed through the full Utah Senate on Wednesday.
HB220, sponsored by Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck, D-Salt Lake City, clarifies Utah laws for mailed ballots that are eligible for counting to ensure no ballots are turned away for technicalities within the state’s voting system.
As long as a ballot is clearly postmarked as having been received by a post office before Election Day, it would be eligible to be counted, under the bill.
Chavez-Houck has said the clarification was necessary because the current law requires a postmark stamped at the Salt Lake City post office. When voters mail ballots from rural post offices, it may take at least a day to receive the postmark from the Salt Lake location.
HB220 clarifies if the ballots are stamped by local post offices before Election Day, they are eligible to be counted, even if they don’t receive the postmark from the Salt Lake post office until after Election Day.
The bill passed through the full Senate with a 23-0 vote, received signatures from Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, R-Sandy, and House Speaker Greg Hughes, R-Draper, and now awaits approval from Gov. Gary Herbert.
— Katie McKellar