Student Voting Guide | Utah
This student voting guide explains the laws for the state of Utah. If you wish to vote from your school address, check the student voting guide for the state in which you attend school. If you are interested in casting an absentee ballot in your home state, check the student voting guide for that state.
The Brennan Center is committed to giving students as much information as possible to help you exercise your constitutional right to vote. More than ever in recent history, changes to voting laws are being implemented in ways that can affect your ability to make your vote count. In addition to the content you will find in this Student Voting Guide, a report that we issued last year documents a number of these changes and we continue to track passed and pending voting law changes here. While we are working to give you up-to-date information, we urge you to be proactive! In order to ensure you have all the information you need before casting your vote, you should also check with your state and local election officials for information about additional requirements or regulations.
This voting guide was last updated in July 2012.
Regular voter registration ends 30 days before Election Day. The last day to register for the 2012 general election is October 9, 2012. Mail-in registrations must be postmarked by the deadline. You can register to vote online by this deadline if you have a Utah driver’s license or state identification card. You can register in person at the county clerk’s office up to 15 days before an Election, although you will not be able to vote through Utah’s early voting program if you register after the regular registration deadline. You may register to vote if you will be 18 by the next election.
Under Utah law, you are a resident for voting purposes if your principal home is in Utah and if you presently intend to stay in Utah for an indefinite amount of time. Your intention to make Utah your home is a key deciding factor. Voting residency is not gained or lost in Utah solely as a result of being a student.
At School. Students can establish residency in Washington if they have a present intention to remain at their Washington school address for the time being, and they intend to make it their principal home. Any other interpretation of the residency law is unconstitutional. A student’s voting residency is determined by the same factors as applied to all other voters.
Voting in Utah may be considered a declaration of residency, potentially making you subject to other laws that govern state residents.
At Home. Students who lived in Utah before moving elsewhere to attend school, and who wish to establish or keep their Utah voting residency (i.e., at their parents’ Utah address), should have no problem doing so. Like most states, Utah allows students to keep their voting residency even if they move out of the district to attend school, and the only way you will lose this residency is by establishing residency in a new state. Casting a ballot in another state is considered a definite abandonment of your Utah residency. If you have established residency in another state and are moving back to Utah with the intent to reside here again, you will have to follow the normal registration procedures to re-register in Utah.
Challenges to Residency. Utah presumes that anyone who registers to vote in Utah is a true resident of Utah. Accordingly, if you register to vote in Utah, your registration cannot be denied on the basis of residency, and it cannot be canceled unless there is “clear and convincing” evidence that you do not currently intend to remain permanently or indefinitely in Utah. Students have the right to cast a ballot as a resident of Utah regardless of whether they pay in-state or out-of-state tuition.
Any person may challenge your eligibility to vote based on residency until 21 days before the date early voting begins by filing a written signed statement. If your eligibility is challenged prior to Election Day shall make an attempt to notify you no later than 14 days before early voting commences. You may submit information supporting your right to vote no later than seven days prior to the beginning of early voting. Your local elections officer must make a determination of your eligibility prior to the day before early voting begins. You may appeal the elections official in district court. Any challenge made solely on the basis of your student or tuition status is invalid.
On Election Day, a poll worker or person living in your precinct may challenge your eligibility when you apply for a ballot.  If your eligibility to vote is challenged on Election Day, you will be asked to show ID to verify your identity and residence. Whether or not you have ID at the polls, you are entitled to vote at the polls by provisional ballot. Your ballot will be counted if the county clerk determines that you are an eligible voter. Remember, any challenge made solely on the basis of your student or tuition status is invalid.
All Utah voters will be asked to present “valid voter identification” at the polling place. Your student ID, from any college, university, technical school, or professional school within the state, may be used for ID at the polls, but only when presented with a second ID (see list below). The identification requirement may also be fulfilled by showing a valid Utah driver’s license, a valid US passport, any other photo ID issued by the state of Utah or by the U.S. government, a Utah permit to carry a concealed weapon, or a tribal identification card. If you do not have one of these forms of identification you may show two different forms of identification from the following list, to prove your identity and address:
- A current utility bill or copy thereof dated within 90 days of the election;
- A bank or other financial account statement, or legible copy thereof;
- A certified birth certificate;
- A valid Social Security card;
- A check issued by the state or federal government or legible copy thereof;
- A paycheck from the voter’s employer, or legible copy thereof
- A currently valid Utah hunting or fishing license;
- A currently valid U.S. military ID card;
- Certified naturalization documents (NOT a green card);
- A certified copy of court records showing the voter’s adoption or name change;
- A Bureau of Indian Affairs card;
- A tribal treaty card;
- A valid Medicaid or Medicare or Electronic Benefits Transfer card;
- A currently valid ID card issued by a local government within the state;
- A currently valid ID card issued by an employer;
- A currently valid ID card issued by any college, university, technical school or professional school within the state; or
- A current Utah vehicle registration.
If the poll worker is not satisfied that your identification is valid, you may cast a provisional ballot. In order for that ballot to be counted, you must go to the county clerk’s office by the close of business on the Monday following the election and show valid voter identification for the ballot to count.
Any registered voter may vote by absentee ballot in Utah without providing a reason for doing so. You must apply for an absentee ballot, and your application may be mailed or delivered in person to your county clerk’s office. Absentee ballot applications must be received no later than the Friday before Election Day. You will then be mailed an absentee ballot. Certain first-time Utah voters must provide a copy of a valid voter identification with their absentee ballot. If this occurs, you will be asked to vote a provisional absentee ballot and submit a copy of valid identification with your returned ballot, for your vote to be counted (see list of acceptable Identification above).
If you are submitting your completed absentee ballot by hand, you must turn it in to election officials by the Friday before Election Day. If you return your completed ballot by mail, it must be postmarked by the day before Election Day and received in the office of the election officer by the time ballots are canvassed (fully counted), which usually happens seven to fourteen days after an election.
As a convenience to voters, Utah has early voting which begins 14 days before the election and ends on the Friday before Election Day. At early voting sites, you can vote any precinct’s ballot for that county. You should check with your county elections office for the exact dates, times, and locations for early voting.
Last Updated in July 2012
 Utah Code Ann. § 20A-2-102.5(2) (2012).
 Utah Code Ann. § 20A-2-202 (1)(c)(ii) (2012).
 Utah Code Ann. § 20A-2-206 (2012).
 Utah Code Ann. § 20A-2-201 (2012).
 Utah Code Ann. § 20A-2-101 (2012).
 Utah Code Ann. § 20A-2-105(3) (2012).
 See Utah Code Ann. §§ 20A-2-105; 20A-1-102(70)(2012) (defining “resident” as someone who resides within a specific Utah voting precinct).
 Utah Code Ann. § 20A-2(4)(c)(ii) (2012).
 See Dunn v. Blumstein, 405 U.S. 330, 330 (1972); Williams v. Salerno, 792 F.2d 323, 328 (2d Cir. 1986).
 89 Op. Att’y Gen. 03 (Utah 1989).
 Utah Code Ann. § 20-2-105(4)(c)(ii), -105(4)(h) (2012).
 Utah Code Ann. § 20A-2-105(4)(e)(ii) (2012).
 Utah Code Ann. § 20A-2-105(6)(a) (2012).
 Utah Code Ann. § 20A-2-105(6)(b) (2012).
 Utah Code Ann. § 20A-3-202.3(1)(a), (2012).
 Utah Code Ann. § 20A-3-202.3(3) (2012).
 Utah Code Ann. § 20A-3-202.3(3)(c) (2012).
 Utah Code Ann. § 20A-3-202.3(4)(a) (2012).
 Utah Code Ann. § 20A-3-202.3(6) (2012).
 Utah Code Ann. § 20A-3-202.5(a) (2012).
 Utah Code Ann. § 20A-3-105.5(2) (2012).
 Utah Code Ann. § 20A-3-105.5(3)-(4) (2012).
 Utah Code Ann. § 20A-4-107(2)(c) (2012).
 Utah Code Ann. § 20A-3-104(1)(b) (2012).
 Utah Code Ann. § 20A-1-102(82)(c)(xii)(C) (2012).
 Utah Code Ann. § 20A-1-102(82)(a) (2012).
 Utah Code Ann. § 20A-1-102(82)(c) (2012).
 See Utah Code Ann. § 20A-3-105.5(1)(c)(4) (2012).
 Utah Code Ann. § 20A-3-104(1)(c)(ii)-(iii) (2012).
 Utah Code Ann. § 20A-3-301 (2012).
 Utah Code Ann. § 20A-3-304(3)(a) (2012).
 Utah Code Ann. § 20A-3-305(3) (2012).
 Utah Code Ann. § 20A-3-305(3) (2012).
 Utah Code Ann. § 20A-3-306(2)(a) (2012).
 Utah Code Ann. § 20A-3-306(1)(a) (2012); Vote Utah, Absentee Voting, http://vote.utah.gov/early-voting/absentee-voting/ (last visited July 6, 2012).
 Utah Code Ann. § 20A-3-601 (2012).