Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen makes this promise: No long lines for voters

By-mail ballots must be postmarked by Monday, or drop them off in-person Tuesday.<br>

Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune A voter drops her ballot at an official ballot drop box that doesn't need a post date at the Salt Lake County complex on election day. Monday is the postmark deadline for by-mail ballots before the official Tuesday Election Day.

Remember the painfully long lines to vote last November?

Well, Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen does, too. 

So while it’s no presidential election, but a primary for city races and the 3rd Congressional District Republican runoff in some areas, Salt Lake County is tripling the number of voting centers — from 12 to 36.

“There will be no long lines this time, I promise,” Swensen said.

That’s good news for voters, many of whom waited in lines for up to four hours in November, shocking election officials who had expected most people to mail in ballots and angering residents and state lawmakers.

Tuesday may officially be Election Day, but Monday is the deadline for by-mail ballots.

“If people are voting by mail, their ballot must be postmarked by Monday,” said Swensen.

Also, early in-person voting is available Monday — an extension allowed by a new state law replacing one that cut off early voting the Friday before an election. Sites for in-person voting Monday or Tuesday are listed online at vote.utah.gov.

People who miss mailing ballots Monday may still drop them off Tuesday at voting centers or drive-up drop boxes that some counties offer.

On Tuesday, polling locations with traditional voting machines will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

A change this year is that no counties will offer Election Day voter registration. A state law allowing so-called same-day registration expired, so people not already registered now are out of luck for the primary.

However, Swensen said that if people have registered somewhere in the state previously but failed to change their address, they may still cast a provisional ballot at an in-person voting center by showing identification and proof of new address.

Also, unaffiliated voters living in the 3rd District who would like to vote in the GOP congressional primary may still do so if they fill out papers at voting centers to officially register as Republican. That is required because the Republican Party has a closed primary that excludes unaffiliated voters or registered Democrats.

The hottest race in the state is the GOP congressional runoff pitting Provo Mayor John Curtis, former state Rep. Chris Herrod and investment adviser Tanner Ainge.

However, scores of cities and towns are also holding primaries in mayoral and city council races. In Salt Lake County, mayoral primaries are occurring in Draper, Herriman, Midvale, Murray, Sandy, South Jordan, South Salt Lake, Taylorsville, West Jordan and West Valley City.