Election Websites: Utah

Election Websites: Utah

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UT BONE2Researchers assessed state election websites for the Pew Center on the States between May-November 2010, using detailed criteria evaluating the content, lookup tools, and usability. Websites may have changed since they were assessed. See methodology (PDF).

Strengths include:

  • All-in-one lookup tool that allows users to find their polling place, view a sample ballot and check the status of their voter registration, absentee ballot, and provisional ballot.
  • Detailed lists of state and federal candidates, both current and past, including names, party affiliations, street addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail and website addresses.
  • Complete information about statewide ballot measures, including full texts, summaries, and nonpartisan analyses.
  • Links to state and federal campaign-finance data.
  • Links to official political party websites.
  • Exemplary use of a search function, offering easy access to a simple-to-use, empty search field on every page.

Recommended improvements include:

  • Create a section of information designed to help overseas and military voters register and vote (50 states offer).
  • Provide a section of information for voters with disabilities (36 states offer).
  • Provide information about the availability of assistance by poll workers (46 states offer).
  • Offer election information in languages other than English (37 states offer).
  • Provide voter registration information for college students (36 states offer), the homeless (35 offer), and those who are hospitalized (27 offer).
  • Allow access to the polling place lookup tool by street address, instead of personal voter record information (27 states offer).
  • Consolidate multiple pages that include related voter registration information and tools.

Noteworthy Feature: Utah highlights the history of initiatives and referenda in the state, with a directory of yes/no results on statewide ballot questions since 1960.

Initial Quick Fixes: Clarify the purpose of the lookup tools by stating exactly what information can be checked or confirmed through the “Registered Voter Lookup” tool. Add a link to this tool from the voter registration information pages.

Summary: Utah offers all five recommended lookup tools and scores well on usability, but has large gaps in information for voters in special circumstances.  

www.elections.utah.gov and www.vote.utah.gov were assessed for content and lookup tools.

www.elections.utah.gov was assessed for usability.