(KUTV) – The polls opened across Utah at 7 a.m. Tuesday morning – many with long lines of voters anxious to cast a ballot.
State election officials hoped to have greater participation in the first mail-in election. Every registered voter in the state received a ballot in the mail, but as of Monday, only around 40% of the mail-in ballots had been returned.
The Utah Elections office reported 503,000 ballots had been returned by mail, and 78,000 in-person early votes had been registered.
Some voters arrived at polling locations Tuesday with their mail-in ballots in hand.
“I wanted to really research what I was voting,” Sarah Wolfe said as she arrived at the University of Utah polling center minutes after the doors opened.
Bradden Blair was a few spots ahead of Wolfe, and said he too had a mail in ballot, but waited until Election Day to vote.
“It’s been right to the last minute for me honestly, with everything that’s been in the news, so I tried to wait as long as possible to see how all the dust would settle and place my vote today,” Blair said.
Many of the people in line at the U’s Marriot Library were also waiting to register to vote. Voters in Cache, Weber, Davis, Salt Lake, SanPete, Millard, Kane, and San Juan counties can still register to vote on Election Day. For voters in all other counties, the deadline was Nov. 1.
The mail-in voting deadline was Monday, and elections officials said anyone wishing to return a mail-in ballot could take it to a polling location, or ballot drop box.
For voters who already voted or sent in their ballots, they can check the status of their vote on www.vote.utah.gov The website also has a list of polling locations based on address.