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Grade TL;DR

Utah started out 2021 by strengthening its voting landscape by further modernizing its ballot tracking system. Unfortunately in 2022, a few anti-voter measures passed the Legislature, including a ban on private election funding and shortening the ballot curing deadline. We saw two minor pro-voter proposals passed in 2022 as well. Given the mixed bag of legislation passed over the last two years, Utah received a C+ on this year’s progress report.

Looking Back

Where Utah Started in 2020

  • Automatic Voter Registration: No
  • Online Voter Registration: DMV ID
  • Same-Day Registration: Yes
  • Restoration of Rights: Prison Disenfranchisement
  • Vote by Mail: Vote By Mail
  • Electronic Registration Information Center Member: Yes
  • Early Voting Opportunities: Regular Ballot Early Voting
  • ID Requirements: ID Requested, but not Required

Relying on the Cost of Voting Index for Utah as of 2020, we considered the state a top tier state for pre-existing voting policy and compared its 2021-22 activity against other top tier states.

How Our Tier Compares:

  • COVI (2020): 3rd
  • EPI Score (2020): 38th
  • CLC State Scorecard (2022): 9/10
  • MAP Democracy Rating (2022): MEDIUM

2021: Two Years Ago

Legislative Action

As an early adopter of vote by mail, the Utah Legislature used the 2021 legislative session to refine its election laws to ensure a secure and voter-friendly process, passing legislation to expand the state’s ballot tracking and notification system.

  • H 70 requires the state to modernize its system to allow voters to receive ballot status updates via text or email, to maintain a statewide or locally based online tracking site, and to provide an offline method to track ballot status, such as a toll-free number.

2022: This Past Year

Legislative Action

The Legislature took a different approach to election reforms during the 2022 session. While it revised drop box laws to give voters more options to return mail ballots, the Legislature also passed legislation to limit election officials’ funding opportunities and shortened the deadline for voters to correct minor mail ballot mistakes.

  • H 313 ​​prohibits election officials from accepting private funding for elections; requires at least one drop box per municipality, with the option to provide more; and requires the lieutenant governor to complete an annual audit of the voter registration database and notify county clerks of the results and necessary changes.
  • H 411 shortens the ballot cure deadline by two days.
  • S 32 revises the disclosure rules for private voter registration records to clarify that certain identifying voter information may not be publicly disclosed.
  • H 67 requires county clerks to ensure all required voter list maintenance is completed at least 90 days before an election.