How To Make Sure Your Mail-in Vote Gets Counted

Sep 24, 2020, 1:08 PM | Updated: 7:20 pm

ST. GEORGE, Utah – Older voters are typically a reliable block in Utah, but could the pandemic change that? Experts say there are steps you can take to ensure your vote gets counted.

Polls show several local and national races are close, meaning your vote matters in the upcoming election.

When it comes to devotion, LaRee and Heber Jones of St. George are experts.

Heber and LaRee Jones of St. George have been married almost 64 years. They’ve voted in nearly every election. (Courtesy LaRee and Heber Jones)

Married nearly 64 years, the couple has a record of service.

“His father, he and his three brothers, were all in the military,” said LaRee Jones.

They’ve missed voting in only one election.

“I think I may have had my tonsils out then, but all of the rest of the times, absolutely,” LaRee said.

Voters age 50 and older make up more than 50 percent of the electorate in the Beehive State, according to AARP Utah, making older Utahns a powerful voice.

“Decisions are being made on their behalf day in and day out and you ought to have a say in what that looks like,” said Danny Harris, advocacy director with the AARP Utah.

Because of the pandemic, people have been advised to mail in their votes.

“We are really encouraging everyone to use their vote-by-mail ballot in this election,” said Sherrie Swensen, Salt Lake County Clerk.

She said voting by mail is the safest way to limit virus exposure, and mail-in ballots are dependable and accurate.

“We have not seen cases of fraud,” Swensen said. “Sometimes people move a lot. They may get a ballot in the mail and the person no longer lives there, but they would have to know how to forge that individual’s signature, and it’s a felony.”

If you’re registered to vote before Friday, Oct. 23, you should get a ballot in your mailbox. Plus, you can follow-up.

“There is, on the lieutenant governor’s website, (a section called) ‘Track My Ballot.’ That is an option that they can go onto at vote.utah.gov, and they can enter their information and see if their ballot has been counted.”

Just like the heirloom chair LaRee is restoring, neither age, nor a pandemic, will stop their civic duty.

“It becomes more important all of the time that we do that,” she said. “Senior citizens, our grandchildren, soon to be great grandchildren, we have an interest in all of this.”

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 3.

For more information about how to track your vote, go to vote.utah.gov.

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How To Make Sure Your Mail-in Vote Gets Counted