Utah’s 45-day general legislative session starts Tuesday. Hundreds of bills have been listed and numbered over the last month, covering issues like health-care, police reform and education funding. There are also a number of bills regarding voting and ballots.
Across the country, there’s controversy over the presidential election results due to mail-in ballots.
Utah has offered a mail-in voting option since 2013, so last year’s presidential election didn’t force the state out of its comfort zone - despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
While there are disputed allegations from President Donald Trump of widespread voter fraud, both Summit and Wasatch Counties’ clerks said they felt the election in their counties were secure.
However this legislative session, there are still a number of proposed bills involving ballots and voting.
One bill proposed by Rep. Mike Winder, R-West Valley City, would remove a person’s name from the registered voters list once they are deceased. The bill would require local officials to send in a certificate of death to county clerks, who would then have five days to remove the deceased person from the registered voters list.
Another proposed piece of legislation would amend how the state tracks mail-in ballots. Rep. Dan Johnson, R-Logan, is sponsoring a bill that would require the lieutenant governor to create a tracking system for ballots, which would send texts and emails updates to voters.
Sen. Curtis Bramble, R-Provo, is sponsoring a bill that would start a voting pilot program. Under the proposed law, municipalities could allow voters to electronically cast their ballots.
The legislative session starts Tuesday, but the State Capitol Building will be temporarily closed to the public in anticipation of potential protests regarding President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration in Washington D.C. Jan. 20. Public participation during the session will be conducted virtually until further notice. All committee meetings and legislative floor debates are available at le.utah.gov.
The Legislative Report on KPCW is made possible, in part, by the law firm of Hoggan Lee Hutchinson at HLHParkCity.com.