Thousands of Utah County voters turned up to cast their early voting ballots on campus Oct. 21 through 31. The endeavor turned out to be a success due to the short wait time, convenient location, and friendly election official staff.
“We had a fantastic turnout at our on-campus early voting location,” said Trevor Tooke, UVUSA Executive Vice President. “We didn’t have lines long enough to upset people, but steady enough to make a difference in the election.”
Tooke also said that roughly 500 voters showed up within the first two days that the polls were open on campus.
Tom Merrill, UVUSA Chief Justice added that during the first day of voting, the wait time was only twenty minutes and due to the successful turnout, five additional machines were brought in to reduce the wait time even more.
The convenient location of the Sorensen Student Center added to the success of the overall turnout of registered voters.
According to the Utah County Government Web site, UVU was one of only five early voting locations for the general election in Utah County.
In addition to this, one hour parking validations were given to all voters at the booths to ensure added expediency.
This year, security issues and convenience moved the early voting machines from the McKay Events Center, where they were located for the primaries, to the Student Government Office.
“The county clerk was very thorough in his inspection of the security measures of the office before agreeing to early voting on our campus,” said Tooke.
Merrill added that the machines were kept in a small conference room each night where they were locked and could only be accessed by select people with an electronic key card.
Another contribution to the success of this year’s early voting on campus included the friendliness of the election officials.
“I found the patience of our election officials to be commendable, said Tooke.” They did a great job.”
Tooke also said that he was impressed with how many community members chose to come to our campus to cast their ballot.
“One voter complained that he had no idea where the Sorensen Student Center was located on our campus,” said Merrill. “I then asked him if he knew where the Wilkinson Center was located on the BYU Campus, he said yes, so I told him that one of the reasons we have the machines here is so you can get to know our wonderful campus, whether you want to or not.”