This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
While lawmakers in other Republican-controlled states are working hard to make it harder for people to vote, Utah's GOP-dominated Legislature is reduced deadline-for-votes">to quibbling over whether mail-in ballots should be postmarked no later than the day before Election Day, or as late as the day itself.
Good for them.
Members of the Legislature's Government Operations Interim Committee recently noted that, no matter to what lengths the law goes to make it convenient to exercise the franchise, some responsibility has to fall on the voters themselves.
So lawmakers are leaning toward allowing the day-before-Election Day postmark deadline to stand. Even though one of their number, Rep. Mel Brown of Coleville, lost his Republican primary in June by just nine votes in a race where 70 ballots were not counted because they were postmarked on Election Day.
The rules are laid out clearly in the materials that come with the mail-in ballots, lawmakers noted, and those who use that method generally have some three weeks after the paperwork arrives to make their choice and send it back.
The committee did send its staff to draft a bill that would require all counties that conduct a mail-only election to provide at least one central drop box that could be used on Election Day, something many counties already do.
Add up the mail-in ballot option, two weeks of early voting in county clerk's offices and elsewhere, the option of registering to vote as late as seven days before an election or, for Utahns who already have a driver license and the personal data that goes with it on file, to register online, and our state proves to be one of the most voter-friendly of all.
But, as the lawmakers note, some duty has to fall on the voters.
The deadline to mail in a voter registration form is 30 days before the election. This year, with the 30th day falling on a Sunday and the 29th on a holiday (Columbus Day), the lead time is actually 28 days Oct. 11.
And, if you can get to your county clerk's office, you can register as late as seven days before the election Nov. 1. That's also the deadline for registering online.
But even if it doesn't, registering to vote and voting in Utah are still pretty darn easy.
So there goes your excuse.