Have you voted yet?
Primary elections are around the corner, with voter registration and mail-in ballot deadlines on August 8th (some municipalities allow for postmarks on ballots up to August 14th) and in-person voting on August 15th (where permitted). Mail-in ballots have been mailed across the state wherever they are used and may be returned right away. DON’T WAIT to exercise the power of your vote! VOTE TODAY!
What election is this?
Utahns across the state will be deciding on what candidates will move on to the general election on November 7th for municipal and special district elections. That means mayors, city council members and water, sewer, parks & rec, and also school board, etc. These are all nonpartisan positions, so any registered voter in the municipality may vote in municipal and special district primaries.
In addition, Congressional District 3 is holding a special primary election for a run-off of three GOP candidates to replace Jason Chaffetz in the Congress. Republican primaries are closed, meaning only registered Republicans and unaffiliated voters who register as Republican at the polls on August 15th may vote.
Who are we voting on?
Any positions where more than double the number of candidates have filed for the positions available will be listed on a primary ballot in your municipality. If there are positions up for election, but double or less the candidates filed to fill them, then there will be no primary race for those positions, and those candidates will automatically be placed on the general election ballot for November 7th. If there are not positions up for election in your area, there will be no 2017 election. For example, I live in a county outside of a municipality where there are no elections this year. The nearest municipality has a primary election for city mayor (because there are 3 candidates) and a general election for city mayor and two city council seats. Because I do not live in the municipality, I am not able to vote in the municipal election.
Voting is the single best way to have a voice in policymaking — giving you the chance to choose your elected officials, the people who make policy decisions on your behalf every day. Utah historically has a low voter turnout, especially for odd-year elections like this and especially for primaries. That means every vote COUNTS MORE.
The CD-3 GOP primary
Congressional District 3 Republican and unaffiliated voters have a unique opportunity to vote not only on a candidate selected by a small group of delegates, as is the norm in Utah, but also on two candidates that were selected by the people via petition, thanks to a recent law, SB 54. Data shows that delegates in Utah have ideologies that are more extreme than the voting population and can choose candidates that are more extreme too. Candidates who are selected by the voters can be more moderate and better reflect the ideology of the voters. In the CD-3 election, Chris Herrod was chosen by the delegates. John Curtis and Tanner Ainge are petition candidates. John Curtis is the current front-runner of the race.
SPECIAL NOTE to unaffiliated voters in CD-3
Mail-in ballots were mistakenly sent to unaffiliated voters in CD-3, who may only vote at the polls after registering as Republicans. State and local officials are working to sort out the error so as not to penalize unaffiliated voters who already mailed in their ballots. However, the results of this are still in the air. Please stay tuned for further updates. If you have not already mailed in your ballot and are unaffiliated, please bring your ballot to the polls and “surrender it”, then register as a Republican in order to vote in the GOP primary.
How do I vote?
Exact details vary by municipality. Check out our nonpartisan Voter Guide for more information.
Register to vote online here. Registration at this time will only apply toward municipal and special district primary elections and beyond, not the GOP CD-3 special primary election.
Find your sample ballot and where to vote (if there is an election in your area) here.
Action Utah is meeting with small groups of ordinary Utahns across the state to discuss:
- How our political system works in Utah
- How ordinary people can impact it
- How Action Utah can help you have a voice in the policymaking that affects your lives
We meet with neighborhood groups, book clubs, action groups, bible studies, senior center groups, community groups and groups of friends and family. See our Living Room Conversations brochure. Would you be interested in having us come speak with your group? Contact us!
Tues, August 8th – Last day to register to vote online or in person for the primary municipal and special service district elections across Utah. NOTE: This is also the last day to mail in ballots in some municipalities.
Wed, August 9th, 2-6:30p – Public Hearing for Rooftop Solar at the Public Service Commission, Heber M. Wells Building, Room 403, 160 Broadway, Salt Lake City, UT 84111. Come for a few minutes anytime between 2 and 6:30 to give your comments to the Public Service Commission in defense of rooftop solar and the clean energy, good jobs and booming industry it brings to Utah. More information below.
1. Defend Rooftop Solar. In Nevada, the power utility advanced the passage of legislation in 2015 that imposed higher rates on customers who installed rooftop solar and added power into the grid. The legislation killed the rooftop power industry in Nevada and was so devastating with job losses and reversal of a booming industry that NV legislators came together this year to try to repeal the law. Efforts are underway by utilities across the country to squash rooftop solar, which competes directly with the’ bottom lines of the utility companies. In Utah, Rocky Mountain Power has proposed the very same devastating rate hikes to threaten rooftop solar and kill an industry that threatens their business by charging rooftop solar customers high rates, despite the fact that rooftop solar customers contribute clean energy to the grid and save the utility money.
- Watch this short video by SNL’s Cecily Strong investigating the issue.
- Come to the public hearing on Wednesday, August 9th, anytime between 2-6:30p at the Public Service Commission, Heber M. Wells Building, Room 403, 160 Broadway, Salt Lake City, UT 84111. Tell the Public Service Commission that rooftop solar matters to you, is valuable to Utahns and the Utah economy and that the PSC should support it, not facilitate changes that are proven to kill an otherwise booming industry. It only takes a few minutes to give your comments to the PSC!
2. Stand up for Immigrants in Utah. 78% of Americans support a path to citizenship for Dreamers, immigrants who were brought to this country by their parents as children. The DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program, which began in 2012, has provided deportation relief and work permits for over 800,000 of these young people. DACA recipients have to pass background checks, and verify their educational and/or military status. But now DACA is under attack, with 10 state attorney generals opposing the legislation in an anti-immigrant letter to U.S. AG Sessions, and now Chief of Staff John Kelly calling DACA unlawful.
- Contact Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, and ask him to show his support for young immigrants by sending a letter to President Trump urging him to defend and maintain the DACA program, and posting the letter publicly. To contact Attorney General Reyes, call: 1-800-244-4636 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Share your story by August 14th. The National Immigrant Legal Council (NILC) is fighting to save DACA by lobbying key members of congress. They are collecting personal stories to share with legislators on August 15, the 5th anniversary of DACA. From NILC: “We’re urging legislators to stand up and fight for those who would be irreparably harmed by an end to this policy. All of us–immigrant and native born alike–benefit when those of us who grew up here are allowed to more fully contribute to our communities.” Share your story here.
- Call on our senators to oppose any efforts to repeal DACA, and to support the bipartisan Dream Act (S.1615).
Sen. Orrin Hatch (202) 224-5251 (DC) // (801) 524-4380 (SLC) // (801) 375-7881 (Provo) // (435) 634-1795 (St. George) // (801) 625-5672 (Ogden) // (435) 586-8435 (Cedar City)
Sen. Mike Lee 202-224-5444 (DC) // 801-524-5933 (SLC) // 435-628-5514 (St. George) // 801-392-9633 (Ogden)
1. Cheer on bipartisan efforts at fixing health care. The very best way to create the very best health care for America is for Republicans and Democrats to work together. While a majority of Americans (71%) have said they prefer to see a bipartisan solution over any of the proposed GOP bills, Republicans have at times bemoaned the idea of working together with Republicans, and Trump has been actively sabotaging Obamacare since January to the detriment of millions of Americans and the insurance markets. The failure of the bad GOP bills in the Senate is only temporary, and solutions still need to be found to make healthcare better and more affordable for households and the government. But that means both sides must come together and be willing to compromise. In the past week, bipartisan talk has come out of the House and the Senate. Let’s cheer those efforts on.
- Call on our Members of Congress to work towards bipartisan solutions for health care — not just by talking, but by taking action. In the near term, that means abandoning full repeal efforts and putting in place mechanisms to stabilize the markets right away to keep insurers in place keep premiums lower for 2018. In the long term that could mean looking toward a universal care system, which is a system that should appeal to Democrats and Republicans alike.
Rep. Rob Bishop (Congressional District 1): 202-225-0453 (DC) // 801-625-0107 (Ogden)
Rep. Chris Stewart (Congressional District 2): 202-225-9730 (DC) // 801-364-5550 (SLC) // 435-627-1500 (St. George)
Rep. Mia Love (Congressional District 4): (202) 225-3011 (DC) // 801-996-8729 (West Jordan)
Not sure who your U.S. Representative is? Check here.
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Share these Weekly Actions with friends and family across Utah to let them know about Action Utah and the factual information, educational resources and meaningful calls to action we provide to ordinary Utahns to help them have a voice in the policymaking that affects their lives.
Andrea & Katie
Co-Founders, Action Utah