Washington County making switch to mail-in ballots

Washington County making switch to mail-in ballots

ST. GEORGE, Utah (AP) — One of Utah’s most-populous counties is joining a growing trend toward voting by mail.

Washington County will conduct its first election with all mail-in ballots on Nov. 6, The Spectrum newspaper reported .

Its 75,000 registered voters in Southern Utah will see ballots appearing in their mailboxes in mid-October.

It’s a good time to make the switch because the county is facing an expensive overhaul of decade-old voting machines, officials said.

“We’ve been dragging our feet and maybe going kicking and screaming into the vote-by-mail thing, but we’re one of the few counties now who haven’t, and I think that’s where everyone is headed,” said County Clerk Kim Hafen.

The county will still run six polling places on Election Day for people who prefer to cast their ballot in person.

The majority of counties in Utah already conduct their elections by mail, a change that proponents say reduces the cost of running elections and increases voter turnout by letting people research the issues and mail back their ballots on their own schedules.