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Early In-Person Voting Underway In Utah

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utahns received their ballots in the mail last week, and in-person early voting started Tuesday in Utah for the 2020 General Election.

Ballots are already being processed, the Salt Lake County Clerk expects a record turnout and voters who talked to KSL said they are energized.

“It’s instant gratification,” said Raymond Perez, after voting Tuesday morning.

Even though he got his ballot in the mail, Perez likes to vote in-person because it feels more significant.

“I feel like part of something,” he said. “It’s in there and I don’t have any doubts.”

Tammo Goudsmit recently moved from Massachusetts. Tuesday morning, he registered to vote, voted and didn’t waste any time in line.

“It’s important to vote early to make sure that I don’t have to stand in a huge line, and my vote will mean a lot more here than it will in Massachusetts,” Goudsmit said.

Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen said she didn’t know what to expect when she showed up Tuesday morning because of the long lines in other states. But the line was short and people moved through without having to wait very long.

“I think it’s just going to be a tremendous turnout,” Swensen said. “We’ve never seen anything like it in terms of people registering to vote.”

Voter registration in Salt Lake County is already 20% higher than it was four years ago, and people are still registering to vote, she said.

In 2016, the county set a record for turn out with 84% of registered voters casting ballots. She expects Salt Lake County voters to break that record again.

“We’re seeing big numbers of ballots returned already, which is good,” Swensen said. “We like that. It helps spread out our workload over a period of weeks instead of getting slammed on Election Day.”

Statewide, already 136,000 ballots have been processed — 85,000 of those in Salt Lake County. The more people who wait to vote, Swensen said, the longer it will take after Election Day to tabulate all of the votes and get the results certified.

“We are encouraging them to return their ballots soon, rather than waiting until the last thing,” she said.

Check your ballot packet for details on in-person and drop off voting in your county.

If you are mailing your ballot, make sure it is postmarked one day before the election, that’s Nov. 2. If you forget to mail it in by Nov. 2, take it to a ballot dropbox in your community on Election Day.

A Salt Lake County ballot dropbox. (KSL-TV)

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