CACHE COUNTY – Early voting in the general election ends for local residents today and Cache County Clerk/Auditor Jess Bradfield says that activity has been brisk at the polling place set up at the Cache County Events Center.
That location has been accommodating 300 to 500 visitors a day, he reports.
“The surprising thing,” Bradfield emphasizes, “is that not all of those residents come in to register and obtain a provisional ballot.
“Some days, we’re seeing as many as 50 percent of people bringing in their mail-in ballots, filling them out in our voting booth and then dropping them off here. It’s something that they could have done at home, of course. But they want to feel that camaraderie that comes from in-person voting.
“It’s kind of a special thing to see,” Bradfield says of his first election in his new role as clerk/auditor. “They stick the ‘I Voted’ tag from their ballots on their shirts and take pictures outside with our voting signs. It’s become like a family event for them.”
The Cache County Clerk/Auditor’s Office has recently been receiving an average of 3,000 to 5,000 mail-in ballots daily, for a total of 31,836 votes processed as of Oct. 30. That figure does not include provisional ballots cast at the county voting center since Monday.
The clerk/auditor explains that anyone coming into the voting center at the county fairgrounds submits what is known as a provisional ballot. The validity of those ballots must be verified against voter registrations and residency records before they can be counted. If it turns out that an individual has voted previously by mail, then the provisional ballot is not counted.
Bradfield says that his staff has been operating its early voting center at the fairgrounds on a trial basis this week to “work all the bugs out of their procedures.” That facility will be closed on Monday, Nov. 2, then reopen on Election Day prepared to cope with an anticipated 5,000 to 7,000 in-person voters.
“If that happens,” Bradfield says, “it will be a truly memorable event, the like of which we haven’t seen in Cache County in recent years.”
On Election Day, the county’s single in-person polling place will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Cache County Events Center at the fairgrounds in Logan (located at 490 South, 500 West).
Bradfield says there will be seven widely-spaced polling stations at that location and each of them will be able to print ballots on demand.
With proper identification – a photo ID and proof of residence — voters will be able to both register and cast ballots at that location.
The deadline for returning mail-in ballots via the U.S. Postal Service is Monday, Nov. 2. Ballots postmarked after that date will not be counted
Completed mail-in ballots can also be deposited in drop-off boxes at 11 locations throughout the county on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3.
Those drop-off boxes will be available at the Cache County Clerk’s Office (Suite 102, 179 North Main, Logan); the Hyde Park City Office (113 East Center St., Hyde Park); the Hyrum City Office (60 West Main St., Hyrum); the Logan City Office (290 North, 100 West, Logan); the Nibley City Office (455 West, 3200 South, Nibley); the North Logan Library (475 East, 2500 North, North Logan); the Providence City Office (164 North Gateway Dr., Providence); the Park Community Center in Richmond (90 South, 100 West, Richmond); the Smithfield City Office (96 South Main, Smithfield); the Wellsville City Office (75 East Main, Wellsville) and the Utah State University Post Office (First Floor, Taggart Student Center).
On Election Day, handicapped accessible voting equipment will be available in the County Events Center for voters who need assistance in completing their ballots. That equipment will include touch screen, audio ballot, Braille keypad, text enlargement, adjustable contrast and tilt screen technology.
Voters with disabilities who need to use that equipment are advised to contact the County Clerk’s Office by calling 435-755-1460 to make an appointment.