Heber City to Employ New Ranked Choice Voting Method in Elections This Year

May 5, 2021

Credit Heber City

If you’re interested in running for municipal office in Utah, the filing window is June 1 to June 7. 

 

In November, Heber City and Midway will hold mayoral elections. Both have two open council seats. Six other Wasatch County towns are holding local elections.

 

In 2018, the Utah State Legislature passed House Bill 35, which allowed cities to conduct elections with ranked-choice voting. An RCV ballot lists all the candidates running for each open seat. Instead of voting for one favorite candidate, voters rank their choices first, second, third, etc., providing an instant runoff and eliminating a need for a primary election. If your preferred candidate finishes last, your vote rolls to your second-favorite candidate.

 

Heber City Clerk Trina Cooke said by eliminating the primary, the county cut election costs in half.

 

This year, Heber City will have different candidate filing periods than other municipalities in Wasatch County. The filing period for Heber City candidates is 8 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 10 through 5 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 17. Declarative filings must be in person. Heber City offices are closed Fridays but will be open for candidate filings from 8 a.m. through 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 13.

 

Cooke said the state would finalize the RCV process on May 10. She'll update the city election website with the details as they are available.

 

“[We] won't have a winner until they win by 50% plus one in the contest, but it's a process where the objective is to get the most favorable candidate for the majority of the people, even if it wasn't your number one pick,” Cooke said.

 

Midway City has two open city council seats and a mayor's race this year. The council voted against adopting the RCV system, so the city follow the state candidate filing calendar.

 

The towns of Hideout, Charleston, Independence, Daniel, Interlaken, and Wallsburg will also hold elections for mayor and two open council seats for terms beginning in 2022.

 

Utah's primary election takes place on Aug. 10. Registered voters will receive a ballot in the mail. The voter registration deadline is set for 5 p.m. Friday, July 30 at the Wasatch County clerk's office. However, voter registration is allowed during early voting and on election day. Two forms of ID are required.

 

Candidates must be U.S. citizens who are registered to vote and have lived in the town for the past 12 months.