Like AARP, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) does not support or oppose candidates but strongly believes that all Americans should be well informed about their right to vote. Reprinted below are questions and answers from their Voter Empowerment Guide about all aspects of voting, from registration to voter ID to receiving provisional ballots.
QUICK TIPS FOR VOTING:
- Check your voter registration status at least 30 days before the election. (You may be able to register AND vote on Election Day! If you live in a participating county, like Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, or Kane County, YOU CAN STILL VOTE on November 4 even if you didn’t register in advance.)
- Vote before Election Day, using early voting or absentee voting.
- If you plan to vote at the polls, locate your polling place at least 30 days before the election.
- Vote early in the day to avoid the last-minute rush.
- Bring a valid form of photo identification or two different forms of identification that show your name and current address.
- Read all instructions carefully.
- Ask for help if you need it.
- Take your time. You have up to five minutes to complete your ballot, or longer if all of the voting booths aren’t occupied. Utah Code Ann. § 20A-3-105.
Contact information if you have any problems while registering or voting
- UTAH LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR: (800) 995-VOTE
- U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (800) 253-3931
Who can Vote
Can I vote in Utah?
- You can vote in the Tuesday, November 4, election if you’re registered to vote by Monday, October 27, 2012.
- You can register if you meet all of the following qualifications:(1) you’re a U.S. citizen;(2) you will have been a resident of Utah for at least 30 days on Election Day; and(3) you’ll be at least 18 years old on Election Day.
What if I’m a student?
- You can register to vote at whatever address you regard as your principal place of residence. This can be your school address or your home address.
What if I’ve been convicted of a crime?
- If you were convicted of a misdemeanor in Utah, you can vote, but you have to vote by absentee ballot if you’re still in jail.
- If you were convicted of a felony in Utah, you can vote if you’re not currently incarcerated.
- If you were convicted of a state or federal felony in another state, you can vote in Utah if your right to vote was restored in the state of your conviction.
What if I’m homeless?
- You don’t need a home to register, but you do have to identify a place of residence (which can be a street corner, a park, a shelter, or any other place where you usually stay). You also have to identify a mailing address. You may want to use the address of a local advocacy organization, shelter, or outreach center, or anywhere else willing to accept mail on your behalf.
How do I register?
- You can register to vote:(1) in person, by filling out a voter registration form at your county clerk’s office;(2) by mail, by filling out a mail-in voter registration form and mailing it to your county clerk’s office; or(3) when you apply for services at the Drivers License Division, Division of Workforce Services, Utah State Department of Health, Women, Infant and Children (WIC) Offices, the Division of Services for People with Disabilities, the Department of Rehabilitation, and public colleges and universities. You may also be able to register at many other state and federal offices and agencies.
- (4) online if your address is current with the Driver License Division. If your address is not current with the Driver License Division, you may still use the online system but will be required to print the form, sign it and mail it in.https://secure.utah.gov/voterreg/index.html
- You can get mail-in voter registration forms from your local elections office, from most libraries, colleges and high schools, or online at http://www.vote.utah.gov
What’s the registration deadline?
- If you register by mail, your registration form must be postmarked by Friday, October 3.
- If you register online or in person at your county clerk’s office, the deadline is Monday, October 27.
What if I miss the deadline?
- In most counties you won’t be able to vote in the November 4 election, but you can register to vote in other future elections.
Election Day Registration for Salt Lake, Davis, Weber and Kane County
- If you live in a participating county, like Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, or Kane County, YOU CAN STILL VOTE on November 4 even if you didn’t register in advance. Election Day Registration for Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, or Kane County
What if I’ve moved or changed my name?
- You have to re-register every time you move or change your name.
- If you moved to Utah from another state and didn’t re-register, you won’t be able to vote in the November 4 election.
- If you moved within Utah and didn’t re-register, you’ll have to cast a provisional ballot. Your ballot will only be counted if election officials determine after the election that you were eligible to vote.
- If you moved after the deadline, call your county clerk’s office as soon as possible to find out where to vote.
How do I know if I’m registered?
- You can check your registration status online at http://vote.utah.gov/ or by calling your county clerk.
Can I vote before Election Day?
- Yes. Any registered voter can vote before Election Day by casting an absentee ballot or by casting a ballot in person at an early voting center.
How do I vote early in person?
- The early voting period begins Tuesday, October 21, and continues until Friday, October 31. Check your local newspaper or call your county clerk for the hours and location of an early voting center near you.
How do I get an absentee ballot?
- If you want your ballot to be mailed to you, you have to submit an application no later than Thursday, October 30. You can get an application for an absentee ballot at your county clerk’s office or you can download one athttp://vote.utah.gov/. If your application is approved, the ballot will be mailed to you.
- You can also apply for an absentee ballot and vote your ballot in person at your county clerk’s office until the close of business on Thursday, October 30.
- If you have any questions please contact your county clerk’s office.
What’s the deadline for returning my absentee ballot?
- To be counted, your absentee ballot must be postmarked no later than postmarked no later than November 3rd.
Voting on Election Day
When is Election Day?
- Tuesday, November 4.
When are the polls open?
- Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. You have the right to vote if you’re in line or inside your polling place when the polls close. Utah Code Ann. § 20A-1-302.
Can I get time off from work to vote?
- Maybe. If your work schedule would prevent you from voting in person while the polls are open, you have the right to take time off from work (up to two hours of which must be paid time off) in order to vote. You have to give your employer notice of your need to take time off, and your employer has the right to specify which hours you get to take. Utah Code Ann.§ 20A-3-103.
Where do I vote?
- On Election Day, you have to vote at the polling place to which you’re assigned.Your assigned polling place will be listed on the voter instruction card that you should receive in the mail when you register.
- If you don’t have your card, you can call your county clerk’s office or look up your polling place online athttp://vote.utah.gov/.
Can I take election materials with me into my polling place?
- Yes. You can take written or printed election materials with you as long as they’re for your own use in casting your ballot. Examples include a sample ballot, a voter guide, or this card. But you’re not allowed to show or distribute these materials to anyone else within 150 feet of your polling place, and you may not be allowed to wear campaign clothing, stickers, or buttons in your polling place unless you cover them up. Utah Code Ann. § 20A-3-501.
What if my polling place is not accessible?
- If you find this out before Election Day, call your county clerk right away and ask for an alternative accessible location. You have the right to an accessible polling place and an accessible voting machine. Utah Code Ann. § 20A-5-403.
- Otherwise, bring one or more people to assist you. You have the right to have anyone you choose assist You as long as the person is not your employer, an agent of your employer, or an officer or agent of your labor union.
Can I get a ballot in my native language?
- If you vote in San Juan County, you have the right to assistance in Navajo and Ute languages. Pollworkers are required to offer this assistance to you. If they don’t, tell a poll worker that you want assistance in one of these languages. You’re entitled to translation of all ballots and other election materials.
- If assistance in your language isn’t required where you vote, you have the right to bring an interpreter with you to the polls or to get assistance in your language from anyone you choose, including a poll worker, as long as the person is not your employer, an agent of your employer, or an officer or agent of your labor union.
What if I need help in the voting booth?
- If you need help because of a physical disability or because you can’t read the ballot, tell a poll worker when you get to your polling place. You have the right to vote on an accessible voting machine. You also have the right to have anyone you choose assist you in the voting booth, including a poll worker, as long as the person is not your employer, an agent of your employer, or an officer or agent of your labor union. Utah Code Ann. § 20A-3-108.
- If you need instructions on how to use the voting equipment, ask a poll worker for help. Poll workers are required to help you at any time you ask—even after you’ve entered the voting booth. Utah Code Ann. § 20A-3-109.
Do I have to show ID?
- Yes. Utah Code Ann. § 20A-3-104.
What are the accepted forms of ID?
- Accepted forms of ID include:
(1) a valid form of photo identification that shows your name, photograph, and current address; or
(2) two different forms of identification without a photo that show your name and current address. Utah Code Ann. § 20A-1-102.
 Additionally, each of the following is by itself a valid form of ID for voting purposes: a valid United States military identification card, a Bureau of Indian Affairs card or a tribal treaty card. Utah Code Ann. § 20A-1-102.
What if I don’t have any ID?
- Ask for a provisional ballot. You have the right to vote by provisional ballot even if you don’t have ID with you when you vote. Utah Code Ann. § 20A-3-105.5.
Problems at the Polls
What if I’m not on the voter list?
- First, ask a poll worker to check the list again and to confirm that you’re at the right polling place for your address.
- If you’re at the right polling place but your name isn’t on the voter list, ask for a provisional ballot. You have the right to cast a provisional ballot even if your name isn’t on the voter list. Utah Code Ann. § 20A-3-105.5.
What if I go to the wrong polling place?
- Go to the right polling place. You can ask a poll worker to help you find the polling place where you’re registered. You can also call your county clerk’s office or look up your polling place online at http://vote.utah.gov/.
- If you can’t figure out where you’re registered, go to the polling place that you think is most likely to be the right one for your address and ask for a provisional ballot. You have the right to cast a provisional ballot even if you’re not sure that you’re at the right polling place.
What if someone challenges my right to vote?
- If you bring an accepted form of ID with your current address, you may be able to resolve the challenge at the polling place and cast a regular ballot.
- If you can’t resolve the challenge, ask for a provisional ballot. Your provisional ballot will only be counted if election officials determine after the election that you were eligible to vote. Utah Code Ann. § 20A-3-202.
What if someone tries to intimidate or harass me?
- Tell a poll worker right away. If the poll worker is the problem, tell a poll watcher, call your county clerk’s office, call the national ACLU Voter Protection Hotline at (877) 523-2792 or one of the election hotline numbers listed at the end of this card, or make a complaint online at http://www.acluutah.org/help.shtml.
What if I make a mistake on my ballot or the voting machine malfunctions?
- Tell a poll worker before you cast your vote. If your voting machine malfunctions, you can request a different machine.
How do I make a complaint?
- First, ask for the person in charge of your polling place. He or she can handle most routine complaints that arise on Election Day. Candidates, political parties, and nonprofit groups may also have poll watchers at your polling place who might be able to assist you. If any of those people ask you who you voted for, or if they can’t resolve your complaint, call your county clerk’s office or the Lieutenant Governor.
- You can also call call the national ACLU Voter Protection Hotline at (877) 523-2792, one of the election hotline numbers listed at the bottom of this page or make a complaint online at www.acluutah.org/participatory-democracy.
Contact information if you have any problems while registering or voting
UTAH LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR: (800) • 995-VOTE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF (800) 253-3931 • ACLU VOTING RIGHTS PROJECT (877) 523-2792, www.aclu.org/letmevote • ACLU OF UTAH: (801) 521-9862, www.acluutah.org/participatory-democracy