With the election season over but municipal elections on the horizon, if you would like to participate in the next election, you must be registered to vote. But how do you do that? Are you new to the area? Did you move to a new home? If so, you can register online here. But before you do, make sure you’ve met the following qualifications for eligibility under Utah Code Title 20A Chapter 2.
Who is a resident of Utah for voting? You are a Utah resident if your primary residence is in Utah and you intend to maintain your Utah residence permanently or indefinitely. There are caveats for students, military personnel, incarceration, and Indian reservations.
Eligibility. You must be 18, a resident of Utah for 30 days before the election, and a citizen of the United States. To register, you do not formally need a Utah Driver’s license or Utah license plates. However, if anything about your registration is suspicious, the election officials may legally consider those factors in determining your residency.
Under the code, the election official may consider any relevant factors to determine your residency, including your marital status and age, where you sleep, your family’s residence, your employment and income sources, the location of any real property you own, and your purpose of residency (such as tax planning). This list is located in Utah Code 20A-2-105. I recommend reading the entire section.
You can register on voting day – in person. Your vote will be provisional and not counted until your residency is confirmed. However, if you were unable to register beforehand or within the period became a resident, you can go to your polling station and register the day-of.
You can vote if you have a criminal record. In Utah, once you have completed your incarceration and probation, you are automatically reinstated to vote. However, you will still need to make sure you’ve registered to vote.
What elections do you get to participate in? Utah has the following elections: municipal, county, state, and national. Municipal elections for city leadership are held in odd years with the next election in November 2019. County, state, and national elections occur in even years with the next election in November 2020.
Voting in primaries. Primary procedures vary by political party in Utah. To vote in the Republican primary, you must be a registered Republican. If you would like to participate in the Democratic party primary, you can be a registered Democrat or unaffiliated.
Beyond voting, would you like to run for an office in 2019? If so, contact your local municipality or read the legal notices in the paper to find out the deadlines for providing signatures or entering your name on the ballot. Contact the leadership of your political party for county, state, and national positions. Most deadlines to enter the race are in March. If you are a woman considering running, the nonpartisan group, Real Women Run, is a great resource. You can also rely on your political party county and state resources to help you manage your campaign.
Disclaimer. As always, my column is not legal advice, instead merely insight into the law and legal profession. If you have a general question about the law or legal profession, please call 435.610.1431.