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McEntee: OK, voters, the real poll is in your hands
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

This Election Day may be one of the most important this nation has ever seen, and it's imperative that all registered voters go to the polls and put their stamp on the outcome.

It's a great idea, but Utah has a notorious reputation for actual voter turnout. In 2010, only about a third of eligible voters bothered to vote, ranking this state 45th in the nation, and just 61 percent of active, registered voters weighed in.

Of course, Mitt Romney's presidential aspirations may persuade more Utahns to vote one way or another. Of those who do, we'll see an avalanche for Romney, some of whose devotees are praying that the Almighty gives him a nudge.

In addition, more than two-thirds of likely Utah voters think the United States is on the wrong track, according to a Salt Lake Tribune poll, so that may be a factor.

Of course, there are reasons to vote in myriad state and local elections, too, not least because we can.

Polls show that Gov. Gary Herbert and Sen. Orrin Hatch are shoo-ins. Reps. Jason Chaffetz and Rob Bishop appear to be locks as well.

Democrat Jay Seegmiller seems likely to be knocked out by Republican Chris Stewart in the 2nd District contest, surveys show, and the GOP's Mia Love could very well end Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson's 12-year congressional career.

But, as the pundits say, polling doesn't count. Voting does.

And that means that, if you're a registered voter, you could change the dynamic.

President Barack Obama and Romney have grown hoarse and weary as they hustle for votes in swing states. Both were scheduled to appear on ESPN's Monday Night Football to answer a few questions.

Surely, then, Utah voters could make the time to head for your neighborhood polling station. They're everywhere; check out Sunday's Tribune for a list of Salt Lake County schools, city halls, fire stations and houses of worship, etc., to cast a ballot. (I'll be at Salt Lake City's All Saints Episcopal Church bright and early on Tuesday.)

Simply put, Utah has a dog in this fight, no matter which side you're on. And if you don't believe one vote makes a difference, you might be happily surprised when you find it actually does.

So, please, just vote.

Peg McEntee is a news columnist. Reach her at pegmcentee@sltrib.com, facebook.com/pegmcentee and Twitter: @pegmcentee.

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