Bills to tweak Utah elections advance

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SB34 • The Senate passed two bills Wednesday to tweak how elections operate in Utah.

SB34, passed on a vote 26-2 and sent to the House, would allow special bond elections only once a year during regular November elections.

Its sponsor, Sen. Howard Stephenson, R-Draper, who is also president of the Utah Taxpayers Association, said holding bond elections at other times has led to approval of tax increases that are "decided by less than 5 percent of the voters," simply because most did not know a special election was occurring.

He said forcing bond issues or other voter-approved tax hikes to occur at the regular general or municipal elections should increase turnout, and help improve voter education.

The Senate also voted 25-0 to pass SB25 by Sen. Peter Knudson, R-Brigham City, to allow the lieutenant governor to extend the time to receive and count absentee ballots or ballots from the military overseas during times of declared emergency. .

Lee Davidson