Do you have an opinion about your local city council or mayor? Perhaps you have some gripe about golf courses or spending priorities or streetlights? Well, now’s your chance to tell them how you feel – by voting in your municipal election on Tuesday, November 7.
Most of Utah’s cities and counties now rely on vote-by-mail balloting. So dig through your stack of mail, find your ballot, fill it out and send it in. It must be postmarked by Monday, Nov. 6.
If you go home Monday night and realize your ballot is still sitting in the pile on the counter, don’t fret. You can still fill it out, seal it and drop it off at a voting center or drop box set up by the county clerk’s office. Or you can vote in person at a voting center. To find the closest voting center, input your address at vote.utah.gov.
You do not want to wait until Tuesday, though. Last year many voters who wanted to vote the old-fashioned way, in a voting booth, waited more than two hours on election day. That’s because most counties don’t have polling places anymore. They have voting centers. Expecting that a majority of voters will vote by mail, counties have drastically reduced the number of voting centers compared to the number of polling places that existed in the good-ol’ days.
Turnout from vote-by-mail returned ballots has so far been dismally low – 18 percent – in both Salt Lake and Utah counties. That could mean that most voters are waiting until Monday to mail their ballots in. Or it could mean they will make a mad scramble to vote on Tuesday. In other words, the lines will be long, again.
There are times to demand tradition and ritual. This is not one of them. Find the ballot your county mailed you, fill it out, and mail it back in. Do your civic duty, and save some gas.
For voters living in a district with active campaigning, there’s nothing more important than engaging and casting your vote. If you still haven’t decided who to vote for, you could look at our choices for Salt Lake City District 3, District 5 and District 7. We also chimed in with a choice for the 3rd Congressional District race.
Really, there’s nothing more important you could accomplish this Tuesday.
Are you tired of campaign literature and advertisements? Vote. Are you bored with the candidates or unenthused by the issues? Vote. Do you think your vote won’t count? Vote. Are you just too busy?
It doesn’t take long, just vote.