How to vote and when to expect results: What you should know about Election Day

Nov 8, 2022, 11:51 AM | Updated: 12:19 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — The deadline for mailing in ballots has passed, but it’s still not too late to vote in this year’s midterm elections in Utah.

Mail-in ballots can still be turned in at county ballot drop boxes across the state and in-person voting locations are open until 8 p.m., although anyone in line at that time will still be permitted to vote. Potential voters can still register to vote at polling locations Tuesday, but will need to present two forms of valid ID in order to do so.

Voters who turned in a mail or provisional ballot can check the status of their ballot at votesearch.utah.gov.

Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson on Monday asked all 29 county clerks to wait until polling places have closed and all voters in line by 8 p.m. have cast their ballots before posting any election results.

“While I’m hopeful early election results will go live shortly after polls close at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, this guidance may impact the release timeline for results in Utah,” said Henderson, the state’s top election official, in a statement. “Eligible voters deserve the opportunity to cast their ballots without outside influence, including data from preliminary results.”

Lt. Gov.’s office asks Utah counties not to post results until all polls close

That means election results may not begin to come in until well after 8 p.m. on Tuesday, especially since Iron and Carbon counties have expanded in-person voting after mail ballots were delayed. It’s unclear how long lines will be in those counties, but officials are prepared for a long night.

Iron County Clerk Jon Whittaker said Monday the county had received 9,000 ballots so far, out of around 28,000 registered voters in the county. He said he is unsure how many of the remaining registered voters plan to vote Tuesday, and how many will need to vote in person because they never received a ballot in the mail.

“We haven’t been able to know exactly how many people received ballots,” he said. “So, we’ve kind of planned for the worst-case scenario.”

Iron, Carbon counties add early voting days after mail ballot delays

Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swenson said she expects to have hundreds of thousands of votes tabulated and ready to release to the public at 8:01 p.m., but said her office may need to hold off on releasing numbers.

“We’ve been told — and all the other counties in the state — that we’re not to release results until the last person in line has voted,” Swenson said. “Because they’re concerned that there would still be people in line, especially in those couple of counties where there are more people apt to vote in person.”

“I feel very badly for the couple of counties that had an issue where the ballots didn’t get delivered to the voters, and so now they’re scrambling trying to have more access to the in-person voting,” she continued.

Swenson said she doesn’t expect long lines at any of the 42 voting locations in Salt Lake County.

Henderson visited a polling location in the Spanish Fork Senior Center and the Utah County Elections Division in Provo on Tuesday morning.

Voter turnout was at 36.6% statewide as of 7 a.m. on Tuesday, according to Henderson — up from 31.1% at the same time on Monday. Wayne, Garfield and Piute counties lead the state in voter turnout, with 66.6%, 66.2% and 62.4% participation, respectively. Cache and Iron counties had the lowest turnout as of Tuesday morning, with 30.2% and 31.3%, respectively.

Nearly 43% of Davis County voters had turned out by Tuesday morning, along with 33.9% of voters in Salt Lake County and 33.1% in Utah County.

Utahns can check preliminary results as soon as they appear at ksltv.com. After Tuesday, people can expect daily updates at 5 p.m. until the final statewide canvass.

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How to vote and when to expect results: What you should know about Election Day