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Absentee and by-mail ballots would be sent out closer to Election Day, under a bill passed 27-0 Tuesday by the Utah Senate.

SB27 would allow sending the ballots three weeks before elections, instead of the now-required four weeks.

Sen. Margaret Dayton, R-Orem, said ballots are sent so early now that people often set them aside and lose them, waiting for more debate or meaningful campaigning closer to the election.

She said the change, supported by county clerks, still allows tracking down people whose ballots were returned for incorrect addresses. She said it would also likely help create more informed votes, and fewer lost ballots.

The bill now goes to the House for consideration.

­Lee Davidson