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The Utah House wants to help voters rectify problems that often spoil by-mail ballots.

Representatives voted 74-0 on Tuesday to pass HB12 to require county clerks to notify voters quickly if by-mail ballots are spoiled so they may correct problems and re-vote — if sufficient time is available before Election Day.

Common problems include failing to sign a by-mail ballot, spouses signing each other's ballots by accident, or signatures that do not match the ones on file with county clerks.

Rep. Steve Eliason, R-Sandy, said data from Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox's office shows nearly 30,000 ballots were rejected in last year's election, including nearly 17,000 in Salt Lake County. Only one county had no spoiled ballots: tiny Piute.

Eliason said the bill requires spaces on ballot envelopes where voters may choose to list email addresses, cellphone numbers or other contact information that county clerks could use to notify voters if their ballots are rejected.

It requires clerks to email or phone voters within 24 hours of rejection of a ballot if it is before Election Day, or it gives them two days to mail a letter.

Voters could then contact clerks to resolve problems, perhaps have another ballot mailed or vote in person.

Eliason called it a simple bill "to ensure as many ballots are counted as possible."

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