The five Utah County cities that use vote-by-mail for their municipal elections have finally reached an agreement with the county clerk to allow them to put the sales tax increase on their ballots.
Mark Thomas is the director of elections with the Lt. Governor’s Office. He says before Utah County officials resolved the problem, his office had serious concerns.
“What was going to happen was something that was going to be very inconvenient and confusing to voters and they were going to have to pay for two elections that could easily be combined,” Thomas says.
Utah County Clerk Bryan Thompson had said that he wouldn’t allow Alpine, Cedar Hills, Lehi, Orem, and Vineyard to put the county proposed sales tax increase on their ballots. He said that doing so would be unfair to the people who live in non vote-by-mail cities. But on Monday Thompson once again met with city leaders at the request of the Lt. Governor’s office.
“Once we got to the constructive conversation phase, and the Lt. Governor helped with that, then we were able to present ideas," Thompson says. "And I think we came up with a solution that is a win for the cities. It’s a win for the voters. And It’s a win for the integrity of the election.”
The new plan will allow the five vote-by-mail cities to put the issue on the same ballot as their municipal candidates. The county clerk’s office will also be sending out post cards to every voter in the county to inform them about the election, and to give them the option to sign up for an absentee ballot.