How to vote: a guide

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i_voted_earlyThe Founding Fathers dreamed that this government would be run by the people for the people.  They wanted people to have the right to vote, and take this given freedom seriously.  The founders of this nation wanted youth to have a say in their future, yet youth voting has been in decline for years.  Fifty-one percent of people ages 18-24 voted in 2008.  In 2012 it went down to 45 percent, and in 2014 it dropped even further to a measly 19.9 percent according to Tufts University.

To be eligible to vote you must be a U.S. citizen, be 18 or older, and live in Utah by Oct. 9. Registering is the first step to voting. You will need either your Utah state driver’s license number or your state ID card number.  The address needs to match the one on your driver’s license or ID card.  Then go to secure.utah.gov and fill out your information. General elections are being conducted mostly by mail this year.  Ballots will be mailed at least three weeks before election day.  Fill your ballot out in pen like a scantron.  Place the ballot in the provided postage paid return envelope and place it in the mail by Nov. 7, or bring the completed ballots to a voting center, or drop box.  If you are concerned about whether or not your ballot was received it can be tracked at vote.utah.gov.

You can also send an absentee ballot through the mail.  To vote in absentia you would need to download, print, and mail an absentee ballot request form completed and signed to the county clerk, Salt Lake County’s county clerk is Sherrie Swensen.  The request form must be sent early enough to reach the county clerk’s office before Nov. 3.

If voting in person is preferable, you can vote early starting Oct. 26 through Nov. 4. Election day is Nov. 8.  There are 16 early voting locations and 37 locations are available on election day listed at GOT-VOTE.org. As Sherrie Swensen stated, “Students should participate in voting.  The decisions made by the current leaders will impact the lives of young people for many years to come and they need to care!”

Don’t sit this election out, go and use your vote like the founders intended!