Who’s on your ballot? How to be an #InformedVoter

September 26th, 2018|Action of the Day|0 Comments

The 2018 Midterm Election coming up on November 6th, ballots are getting mailed out on October 16th and early voting opens up on October 23rd.

YOUR VOTE MATTERS!

  • Some elections in Utah are decided by only a handful of votes. EVERY VOTE COUNTS!
  • In Utah we have a historically low voter turnout, but when fewer people vote YOUR VOTE MATTERS MORE!
  • Voting is one of the best ways community members can get their voice heard. BECOME AN #INFORMEDVOTER TODAY!

Informed voting means understanding who is on your ballot and what they stand for and casting a ballot that reflects your opinion. We can help YOU become an #InformedVoter!

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Follow these three simple steps to become an #InformedVoter ready to cast your vote this election!

1. Find your sample ballot at vote.utah.gov or on your county election website find out who and what is on your ballot. Every ballot across the state includes the following seats up for election:

  • US Senate – 1 seat to replace Sen. Orrin Hatch
  • US Representative – your congressional district House Representative race
  • State Legislature – 1 State Representative (elected every 2 years) and possibly also 1 State Senator (elected every 4 years, so some senate districts have no races in 2018)
  • County Offices – such as County Commissioners or Mayor, Council Member, Attorney, Clerk, Assessor, Recorder, Auditor, and/or Sheriff. Check your local County Information page to find out what county officials make up your county government and what their role is.
  • Local School Board Member (a nonpartisan elected representative)
  • State Judicial – 13 current judges to be retained (or not) on benches in our State Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Juvenile Court or Judicial Court
  • Local Judicial – Any judges in local county courts

2. Figure out who you will vote for by doing some online research.

  • For US and state reps, check out candidate webpages or the Profile links on your sample ballot at vote.utah.gov. Check VoteSmart for unbiased reviews of incumbent positions and votes on key issues. Or check legislator score cards or vote trackers from the organizations you know and trust to see where your incumbent stands on the issues that matter to you.
  • For county officials, do some basic online searches on the candidates and incumbents. Pay particular attention to County or District Attorneys, as these folks wield a lot of power and tend to stay in office once elected for a long time. County Commissioners are the executive officers of the county, and as such also wield a lot of power over local policies, even though they are generally seated on a commission with at least two other commissioners. Check your local county government webpage to find out more about incumbents in these positions.
  • For local school board, ask around in your school district or do an online search. These candidates are the hardest to track down, as they do not generally have candidate webpages.
  • For judicial, sometimes the Utah Bar Association posts recommendation lists, though most incumbent judges are recommended for re-election. The Utah Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission monitors, evaluates and gives recommendations on judicial retention. Input your county to find their recommendations for your area.

3. Figure out who you will be voting for by watching debates.

Utah Debate Commission and ABU Education Fund with the John R. Park Debate Society host debate series to help voters better understand the candidates and their positions. Some debates have already passed, but you can still catch them via online streaming at the links below.

To find out more about what’s on your ballot and voting procedures, click here.

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