2013 Municipal Elections Training Justin Lee Mark Thomas Lt. Governor’s Office Lt. Governor’s Duties Chief Election officer for the State of Utah General supervisory authority over all elections Direct supervisory authority over the conduct of elections for: Federal State Multicounty officers Statewide or multicounty ballot propositions Lt. Governor’s Duties Prepare election information for the public Make the information available via Internet or other means Answer election questions Lt. Governor’s Duties -Notaries -Authentications -Financial Disclosures -Annexations -Lobbyists Declaration of Candidacy Declaration of Candidacy Period June 1 – June 7 “during office hours and not later than the close of normal office hours” HB 403 (2013) and 20A-9-203 Not June 1 - June 15 Partisan Municipal Elections If your municipality holds partisan elections Any new political party that wishes to qualify to participate must file their petition with the city recorder by May 31 Previously the deadline was 55 days before the primary HB 403 (2013) 20A-9-404(4)(b) Declaration of Candidacy Candidates must declare in person, except; A person who is a member of active armed forces, or is employed with the state or the United States who is out of the state during the declaration of candidacy period may file for office by designating an agent to file the declaration form in person, while the person who is declaring candidacy communicates with the filing officer using an electronic device that allows the person and the filing officer to see and hear each other (e.g. Skype) HB 39 (2013); 20A-9-203(4)-(5) Declaration of Candidacy Candidates must declare in person, except; Any resident of a municipality may nominate a candidate by filing a nomination petition with the city recorder or town clerk Petition must be signed by 25 residents or 20% of the residents who are at least 18 years old 20A-9-203(2)(b) 20A-9-203(5) Declaration of Candidacy Read office qualifications to candidate Candidate states whether they meet qualifications Inform candidate that name will appear on ballot as listed on declaration of candidacy form Provide disclosure law requirements Info on vote.utah.gov profile Candidate submissions for vote.utah.gov due by: July 1 at 5 pm for Primary September 6 at 5 pm for Municipal General Pledge of fair campaign practices Declaration of Candidacy Municipal clerk shall verify with county clerk that all candidates are registered voters Notices: Immediately after expiration of filing period The municipal clerk shall cause the names of candidates to be published in at least two successive publications of newspaper with general circulation in the municipality Notify the Lt Governor’s office of names of candidates as they will appear on the ballot (20A-9-203(9)(b) Newspaper of General Circulation Bona fide subscription list of not less than 200 subscribers in the state Shall have been published for not less than 18 months Admitted as second-class matter for 12 months for mailing purposes 45-1-201 Declaration of Candidacy Write-In Candidates File a declaration with the appropriate filing officer not later than 60 days before municipal general election Write-in candidates in towns need to prequalify with the filing officer Form now set forth in 20A-9-601(1)(b) (HB39 -2013) (20A-9-601) Voter Registration Deadlines Primary Mail-in: July 15 In-Person or Online: July 29 General Mail-in: October 7 In-Person or Online: October 21 Absentee Voting Conducting Election by Absentee Ballot An election officer may administer an election entirely by absentee ballot Mail an absentee ballot to each registered voter along with: a statement that there will be no polling place for that voting precinct a business reply envelop instructions for returning the ballot with relevant deadlines 20A-3-302 Conducting Election by Absentee Ballot Voters do not need to request an absentee ballot for an election conducted all by absentee ballot An election officer who administers an all by absentee ballot election shall obtain the signatures of each voter either in person or from the county clerk to verify the returned absentee ballots 20A-3-302 Absentee Voting Ballots must be mailed 28 days before the election for everyone that has requested a ballot (20A-3-305) Absentee Ballots can be requested up through the Thursday before the election (20A-3-306) Absentee Ballots can now be requested online Absentee Voting Emergency absentee ballots Used for a voter hospitalized after the deadline for requesting an absentee ballot Any person may obtain an absentee ballot on behalf of a hospitalized voter at the election officer’s office. The ballot must be returned by the close of polls 20A-3-306.5 Military and Overseas Voting At least 100 days before an election the election officer shall prepare a notice with all expected offices and ballot propositions expected on the ballot This notice must be provided to any UOCAVA voters upon the voters request You can cover both the primary and the general election in one notice Military and Overseas Voting Allows military and overseas voters to request and receive ballots and balloting materials by electronic transmission (fax or email) Requires ballots to be sent to eligible voters 45 days before an election If the 45th day falls on a weekend or holiday the preceding business day shall be used Military and Overseas Voting Requests for absentee ballot can be made up until the Thursday before the election Counts ballots as valid if submitted for mailing or other authorized means by 12:01 am at the place where the voter completes the ballot on the date of the election and if received before the canvass Absentee Voting A person that collects a complete absentee ballot application shall file the completed application with the appropriate election official within 14 days or the Thursday before the election, whichever is earlier If a group desires to do a registration drive with pre-filled forms those forms must be approved and meet the requirements of 20A3-304(3) SB24 (2013) Early Voting Early Voting If a municipality is administering an election entirely by absentee ballot, early voting is not required HB53 (2013) 20A-3-605(3) Early Voting Early voting is optional for a municipality of a fifth or town class for: A municipal primary election; or A municipal general election 20A-3-605 Early Voting Begins 14 days before the election Continues through the Friday prior to the election Shall be conducted a minimum of 4 days during each week with the polls being open for a minimum of 4 hours on those days Shall be open on the last day of the early voting period with polls closing at 5 pm 20A-3-601 Early Voting Polling Places Election officer shall designate one or more polling places for early voting provided that: At least one polling place is open on each day that polls are open Each polling place meets all code requirements Each polling place is located in a government building or office Unless none meet scheduling or space requirement (20A-3-603) Early Voting Notice of Time and Place Shall publish notice at least 5 calendar days before the date that early voting commences: At each early voting polling place, and In one issue of a newspaper of general circulation, The newspaper will then post it to the Public Notice Website as required by 45-1-101 20A-3-604 Election Day Election Day Assisting Voters with Disabilities Poll Workers Prohibition on appointing candidate family members May not appoint any candidate’s parent, sibling, spouse, child, or in-law to serve as a poll worker in the voting precinct where the candidate resides 20A-5-602(2) Identification Requirements What is valid voter ID? 2012-2013 Master Ballot Position List 1- C 2-S 3-T 4-L 5-F 6-Y 7-V 8-D 9 -R 10 - U 11 - K 12 - P 13 - N 14 - Q 15 - O 16 - I 17 - M 18 - W 19 - Z 20 - E 21 - J 22 - H 23 - G 24 - X 25 - A 26 - B 20A-6-305 Wording on Election Ballots Changes the language on ballots when a voter will be voting for two or more candidates for the same office (at large council seats) Changes from “vote for two or more” to “Vote for up to______” (the number of candidates for which the voter may vote) 20A-6-301(3)(c) HB 488 (2012) Election Day Voting Centers Authorizes an election officer to designate one or more polling places as election day voting centers Must meet all requirements for a polling place Election officer shall notify the Lt. Governor of the designation and location 15 days before the election Voting Center Ballots If the location is not the normal polling place for the precinct in which the voter resides, a voting center ballot is used If it is the normal polling place a regular ballot is used 20A-3-701,702,703,704 Cancellation of Elections A Municipal legislative body may cancel a local election if: The number of candidates, including write-in candidates Does not exceed number of open at-large offices, or Each candidate in each district is unopposed; and There are no municipal ballot propositions Must wait until the 60 day write-in deadline has passed The municipal legislative body passes a resolution that cancels the election no later than 20 days before the scheduled election 20A-1-206 Elections During Declared Emergencies When there is a declared emergency that affects election day voting, absentee voting, early voting or the canvass: The Lt. Governor can authorize alternative means, dates, times or locations for voting. SB 25/HB 82 (2013) 20A-1-308 Primary Election Date Change Primary moves to Second Tuesday following the first Monday in August August 13, 2013 Early Voting July 30 - August 9 Challenges to Voters: Pre-election A person may challenge the right to vote of a person whose name appears on the official register -not later than 21 days before the date early voting commences -with a written statement that includes: -Name and address of person filing challenge -Name of challenged voter, last known address or telephone number, basis for challenge, facts and circumstances supporting basis provided, and a signed affidavit (20A-3-202.3) Challenges to Voters: Election Day A poll worker or a person that lives in the voting precinct may challenge a voter’s right to vote if: The voter and person challenging the voter are both present at the time the challenge is made The challenge is made when the voter applies for a ballot (20A-3-202.5) The poll worker shall record the challenge in the register and follow the procedure for a provisional ballot (20A-3-105.5) Poll Watchers 20A-3-201 Watchers: “each candidate and any person interested in an issue appearing on the ballot may appoint one person to act as a voting poll watcher to observe the casting of ballots, another person to act as a counting poll watcher to observe the counting of ballots, and another person to act as an inspecting poll watcher to inspect the condition and observe the securing of ballot packages” Poll Watchers Poll Watchers may: Watch and observe the voting process Make written memorandum Poll Watchers may not: Interfere in any way with the process Communicate in any manner the result or any other information about the count Ballot Propositions & Special Elections Scheduling Special Elections A special election for a ballot proposition related to a bond, debt, leeway, levy or tax can only be held on the November general or municipal general election This does not take effect until July 1, 2013 SB 34 (2013) 20A-1-204(d) Scheduling Special Elections Any other special election may be held on The Fourth Tuesday in June The First Tuesday after the first Monday in November 20A-1-204(1)(a) Voter Information Pamphlet “The… municipality that is the subject of an initiative, referendum or other ballot proposition shall prepare a local voter information pamphlet that meets the requirement of [20A-7-402]” Voter Information Pamphlet Request to make an argument shall be filed 65 days before the election Priority of arguments Sponsors have priority in making the argument Members of local legislative body have priority over others Arguments may not exceed 500 words Arguments shall be filed 50 days before election 20A-7-402 Voter Information Pamphlet Preparation: Arguments are printed on the same sheet of paper upon which the measure is printed Statement on front cover or first page of the arguments shall read: “The arguments for or against the proposed measure(s) are the opinions of the authors” Distribute pamphlet not less than 15 days before election but not more than 45 days before 20A-7-402 Voter Information Pamphlet Instead of a printed VIP a local legislative body may distribute a form instead of VIP informing voter where to get information of the ballot proposition 20A-7-403(c) Voter Information Pamphlet Must be printed on postage prepaid, preaddressed form that a person may use to request delivery of a paper VIP Must include the web address of vote.utah.gov, where a link to the VIP info will be posted, and The phone number a voter may call to request delivery of a VIP 20A-7-403(c) Political Activities of Public Entities Unless specifically required by law, a public entity may not make an expenditure from public funds for political purposes or to influence a ballot proposition 20A-11-12 Political Activities of Public Entities Public officials can exercise First Amendment rights Speaking, campaigning, contributing personal money Public entities can: still provide factual information about ballot propositions Analyze pros and cons of a ballot proposition Provide neutral encouragement to vote Numbering Ballot Propositions When election officers receive ballot propositions eligible for inclusion on the ballot they ask the lieutenant governor to assign a number The lieutenant governor assigns a unique number to each ballot proposition (20A-6-107) Does not include bonds (11-14-206) Financial Disclosures Financial Disclosures Candidates for municipal office not eliminated at primary election shall file a report: No later than 7 days before municipal general election No later than 30 days after municipal general election Candidates eliminated at primary shall file a report: No later than 30 days after primary (10-3-208) Financial Disclosures Campaign Finance Statements: (a) Report the total amount of all contributions and expenditures if the candidate receives $500 or less and spends $500 or less or (b) Report all itemized -contributions, including amount and donor -aggregate total of all contributions that do not exceed reporting limit -expenditures, including amount and recipient (10-3-208) Financial Disclosures However, A municipality may, by ordinance: Provide a reporting limit lower than $50, Require greater disclosure than is required by Utah Code, and Impose additional penalties on candidates who fail to comply with the requirement of Utah Code (10-3-208) Financial Disclosures $50 Reporting Limit means for each calendar year (10-3-208) SB 89 (2012) Financial Disclosures Municipal Clerk’s Duties Notify candidate of dates and regulations when they declare candidacy, and 14 days before the municipal election (10-3-208) Financial Disclosures Make filed statements available for public inspection and copying one business day after filing, and Make filed statements available for public inspection by: Posting an electronic copy or contents of the statement on the municipality’s website no later than 7 business days after statement is filed, and Verify that the municipality’s web address has been provided to the Lt. Governor no later than 2 business days after the statement is filed, or Submit a copy of the statement to the Lt. Governor for posting on http://governor.utah.gov/Disclosures/ Financial Disclosures Political Issues Committees and Political Action Committees: An entity or group of individuals or entities within or outside the state that solicits or receives contributions and makes expenditures to advocate for or against candidates running for office, or ballot propositions Financial Disclosures PICs, PACs & Corps PICs, PACs & Corporations must report to the Lt. Governor’s office expenditures made to state, county, and municipal candidates and on ballot issues www.disclosures.utah.gov Financial Disclosures PICs, PACs and must file disclosures before municipal general elections with the Lt. Governor’s office HB 494 (2012) Canvass & Results Canvass Board of Canvassers Mayor and municipal legislative body are the board of municipal canvassers for the municipality Simple majority of legislative body constitutes a quorum Meets no sooner than 7 days after the election and no later than 14 days after (20A-4-301) Canvass Duties of Board of Canvassers Publicly open the returns and determine from them the votes of each precinct For each person voter for For and against each ballot proposition (20A-4-303) Declaration of Results Declare elected those who had highest number of votes to an office within jurisdiction Declare ballot propositions “approved” or “rejected” that were submitted to voters within board’s jurisdiction (20A-4-304) Canvass Prepare Report of the Results Publish in one or more conspicuous places within the jurisdiction In a conspicuous place on county’s website In a newspaper of general circulation File a copy with the Lieutenant Governor (20A-4-304) Voting Recount Amendments-HB85 (2013) Changes to the formula to request a recount A recount may be requested if The difference of votes cast between the winning and losing candidate is equal to or less than .25% of the total number of votes cast for all candidates in the race, or The total number of votes cast in the race is 400 or less and the difference between the winning and losing candidate is one vote A recount must be requested within 3 days of the canvass for a municipal election Mid-term Vacancies Midterm Vacancy Amendments The municipal legislative body shall interview each person whose name was submitted for consideration and meets the qualifications for office in an open meeting. HB 491 - 2012 20A-5-510 Lt. Governor’s Office Contact Information Utah State Capitol Suite 220 Salt Lake City, UT 84114 (801) 538-1041 (800) 995-VOTE Fax: (801) 538-1133 E-mail: [email protected] vote.utah.gov Questions?