Everything you need to know about the 2015 Vote By Mail election.

This election you will have the opportunity to hear from the candidates from the comfort of your own home.  How do the 10 different candidates feel about issues that impact you?  Visit our website to watch videos of them answering questions on UTOPIA, growth, economic development, and other important topics.

For 2015, the City of Orem will be using "vote-by-mail" to conduct its primary and general election.  Naturally a change like this brings questions, but the track record of cities/states that have gone to this system is very impressive.  Most cities have seen almost double the voter turnout!  

Please take a few minutes and read about the process, and of course, contact us (801- 229-7298) with any questions.  
How will the process work?

Every voter will receive a ballot at the address that is on their current voter registration.  To check what current address is on file, visit vote.utah.gov.

Once you receive a ballot, here are the steps:

1) After researching the candidates (elections.orem.org), you can choose UP TO three candidates to vote for.

2) Fold your ballot and put it in the affidavit envelope provided. YOU MUST SIGN THE ENVELOPE WHERE INDICATED!

3) If you're a first time Utah voter you will receive an insert in your ballot asking you to provide a copy of your ID (instructions will be included) . If you don't have access to a copier, you can bring your ID to the Recorder's Office to be copied.  Remember, you will need to put it in the envelope so don't seal it before making the photocopy.

4) Fold the envelope flap along the dotted line to cover your signature.

5) Notice the two shiny adhesive strips. Moisten both of them and fold the flap at the second dotted line. These adhesive strips will seal your ballot safely in the envelope and keep people from being able to see your signature when it's in the mail.

6) Please clearly print your return address and name.

7) Return the envelope to the City Recorder's Office at 56 N. State 
- You may it put in the mail (City will pay the postage)-MUST be postmarked BEFORE the election (Aug. 11 - Primary Election; November 3 - General Election) OR  
- You may drop it off in person at the Recorder's Office-including on Election Day

Isn't this going to increase the chance fraud?

Fraud is usually the first concern that comes up when considering a vote-by-mail system, and it was the first question that came up with our City Council.  The data doesn't suggest, however, that increased fraud comes from the vote-by-mail system.

Each returned envelope will be checked for fraud.  The signature of the voter will be matched against one of multiple legal documents that have captured the signature of the registered voter.  Once the signature is verified, the vote will be counted. 

What if I don't receive a ballot?

Ballots should be in mailboxes around July 15 & 16th. If you haven't received your ballot, please call the City Recorder's Office 801-229-7298.

Provisional ballots will be available on Election Day, August 11th, in the City Center Rotunda (56 N. State St.). Provisional ballots will be counted for the canvas on August 25th, once election workers can verify that the individual hasn't also mailed in a ballot.

If you are voting provisionally, you will need to provide provide proof of ID and proof that you live at the address that you are claiming (car registration, utility bill, etc.)
Why did the City Council decide to use vote-by-mail?

Ultimately, the majority of the City Council voted to use this system to increase voter participation. In 2013, 19 different Utah cities used this method and every single city saw a significant increase in their voter participation, and some cities saw an increase of more than 100%! 

This process allows voters to research candidates and issues with the ballot in hand.  It will also take a step to ensuring that all voters have an opportunity regardless of circumstance (illness, disability, inability to get a babysitter for their children, bad weather, etc.).  In the end, the intent is to make voting more convenient to allow everyone the opportunity to participate in the democratic process.


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