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Primary election ballots arriving by mail

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All registered voters in Morgan’s District 3 will be voting to narrow the field of local school board candidates from three to two.  Gaylene Adams, Jennie Earl and R. Kraig Walker filed for the four-year seat now occupied by Ken Durrant.  District 3 includes just over 1,000 voters in Stoddard, Littleton, Richville, Porterville, Hardscrabble and South Morgan Valley Drive.

Registered Democrats will be voting in the U.S. Senate race as well, choosing between Misty K. Snow and Jonathan Swinton.

Registered Republicans will determine who advances to the November ballot for governor as well as the Utah House of Representatives District 53.  Political newcomer Jonathan Johnson is vying for incumbent Gary R. Herbert’s gubernatorial seat.  Local resident Logan Wilde will take on incumbent Melvin R. Brown for a chance to get on the Nov. 8 general election ballot.

Registered voters who had not affiliated with a political party by May 19 will not be allowed to vote in the Republican or Democratic primary races.  Political parties set participation rules.

Voters will have until Tuesday, June 28, to cast their ballots.

The first time Morgan County conducted an election entirely by mail for the whole county was in 2015.  Election administrators declared the 2015 voting process a success because it produced a high percentage of votes, consolidated Election Night activity to a single location, eliminated fraud, allowed voters time to contemplate their ballots, served as a voter registration tool and cleaned up county election records.

Across the state, the number of votes cast by mail is expected to triple as 20 of Utah’s 29 counties will conduct elections by mail.  According to the Clerk and Auditor Association of Utah, voting by mail increases “accessibility, convenience and informed voting for 70 percent of the voting population, almost 1 million voters, at a lower cost than in-person voting.”

Oregon and Washington have been voting by mail for almost 20 years and Colorado began three years ago.  More than half of California’s ballots are cast by mail.  Last year, 90 percent of all ballots were cast by mail in Salt Lake and Weber counties.

One-fifth of all Utah voters have already requested to be placed on the permanent absentee voting list, showing the increasing popularity of an option other than physically visiting the polls on Election Night.  Absentee voting began in 1864 when soldiers fighting in the Civil War cast 230,000 ballots.

In November, the ballot will grow.  Morgan residents will be voting for a U.S. president, U.S. senator, U.S. First District House of Representatives legislator, state governor, state lieutenant governor, state attorney general, state auditor, state treasurer, state senator, state House of Representatives legislator, three Morgan County School Board seats, three Morgan County Council seats, district court judge, juvenile court judge, and justice court judge.

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