SALT LAKE CITY — A bill that would make a number of changes to how Utahns vote, including adding more polling places, was advanced Tuesday by the House Government Operations Committee.
HB218, sponsored by Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck, D-Salt Lake City, would require counties to have at least one polling place for every 5,000 voters, even if elections are being conducted largely by mail.
The only elections that could be handled entirely by mail under the bill, which committee members voted 6-3 to send to the full House, would be those held solely for a referendum challenging a local tax law.
The bill also includes calls for stopping by-mail ballots from being sent to voters who haven't voted in past elections and making same-day voter registration permanent throughout the state.Comment on this story
A proposal from Rep. Steve Handy, R-Layton, to automatically update voter registration information from driver's license renewals unless drivers choose to opt out of the program was made part of the bill.
State Elections Director Justin Lee said he's not sure he's comfortable with the bill.
Lee said one of his concerns is that it is already not easy to explain the election system to voters, and the bill may complicate that further by telling voters they won't be getting a ballot if they didn't vote in recent elections.
— Lisa Riley Roche