November 2, 2018
PDF version of this press release (PDF)
ACLU of Utah Urges County Clerks to Increase Visibility and Awareness of Election Day Registration
- Do voters in your county know about Election Day Registration (EDR)?
- Is accurate information about EDR prominently displayed on your website?
- Are your poll workers and election staff trained to identify unregistered voters and direct them to complete provisional ballots on Election Day?
Election Day Registration—the ability for unregistered voters to register to vote and cast a ballot at a polling place on Election Day—is now available statewide in Utah due to a bill passed by the Utah Legislature and signed into law by the Governor earlier this year.
Now that all deadlines for mail-in and online registration have passed, EDR is the only way for unregistered voters—and registered voters whose address information is not updated—to cast a ballot during the current election. This applies to counties using mail-in ballots and traditional in-person voting.
In a state with historically low voter-turnout —Utah ranked 39th in the nation for voter participation in 2016—it is crucial that any election information be easily accessible to the public. If more Utah residents are aware of Election Day Registration, voter participation in Utah will increase. Recent phone and web surveys by the ACLU of Utah determined that most county clerk websites in Utah have no information about EDR publicly displayed—or limited information displayed in an obscure location.
We encourage reporters to check their county’s clerk/election website to see if EDR information is prominently and correctly displayed.
We recommend county clerks take the following steps to ensure that residents are aware of Election Day Registration:
- Prominently display information about Election Day Registration on county websites under “Register to Vote,” “Where to Vote,” and “Election FAQ” or comparable sections. See sample text below:
"You can still register to vote in INSERT COUNTY NAME and cast a ballot on Election Day, Tuesday, November 6. Any unregistered but otherwise eligible voters will be asked to fill out a provisional ballot form, which becomes a voter registration form. Once a potential voter provides identification, e.g., a driver’s license, and proof of residency such as a recent utility bill or bank statement, the voter will be issued a provisional ballot that will be counted once the election staff has reviewed and accepted the voter’s information as accurate."
- Include information about the necessary identification documents required to use Election Day Registration.
- Train poll workers and election staff to provide unregistered voters with provisional registration and ballots.
- Ensure that ballot machines and/or paper ballots are on-hand to accommodate Election Day Registration at all voting locations.
Lt. Governor Spencer Cox, a strong proponent of EDR, talked about it during a recent interview with KUER-FM, saying “What’s cool is because we really don’t have deadlines this year—I mean we do technically have deadlines—but you can register all the way through election day, we don’t need to advertise those deadlines, we just want you to go and do it.”
We share the Lt. Governor’s excitement and urge county clerks in all 29 counties in Utah to actively promote Election Day Registration in the current election.
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For more information about the ACLU of Utah or to be added to our media contact list, contact Jason Stevenson, Strategic Communications Manager, at (617) 290-8188 (cell), or email, at email@example.com