Graphic by Valerie De La O.
The local and state elections are coming up on Nov. 6, and in Washington County, the ballots have been mailed out to already registered voters.
Henrie Walton, director of the institute of politics, said there are three things students should look at when going to vote: initiatives, school funding, and voting for candidates.
The initiatives are the propositions on the ballot. They include:
- Medical cannabis
- Medicaid expansion and redistricting
- 10 cents gas tax increase for education and local roads
“Citizens initiatives propositions are a way for citizens to directly impact what the law said,” Walton said. “And those are driving voter turnout in a lot of ways because people are pretty excited for those initiatives either for or against.”
He said if the initiatives get 51 percent of the vote, it changes the law.
There is also a school funding up to vote for Washington County, Walton said. The funding will allow Washington County school district grow and build new schools and fund new programs, Walton said.
Then there are positions in office that people will have to vote for, Walton said.
Each candidate stands on different values as to what the community and state should focus on and along with certain groups.
Katie Perkins, LGBTQ+ resource center coordinator, said everyone should know where candidates stand with the LGBTQ+ community and their rights. Perkins said Equality Utah page is a great resource to inform voters on these issues. The rating shows how much the candidates support the community and rights, Perkins said.
Several candidates are on the ballot.
In the U.S. Senate, Utah voters can choose from these candidates:
- Mitt Romney (Republican party)
- Jenny Wilson (Democratic party)
- Tim Aalders (Constitution party)
- Craig R. Browden (Libertarian party)
- Reed C. McCandless (Independent American party)
In the U.S. House 2, Utah voters can choose from these candidates:
- Shireen Ghorbani (Democratic party)
- Chris Stewart (Republican party)
- Jeffrey Whipple (Libertarian party)
In Utah State House 75, voters can choose from these candidates:
- Walt Brooks (Republican party)
- Michael A. Gardner (Libertarian party)
- Keith R. Kelsch (Independent American party)
In county commission seat a, voters can choose from these candidates:
These candidates are running unopposed:
- Victor Iverson for County commission seat b
- Brock R. Belnap for county attorney
- Kim M. Hafen for county clerk/auditor
- Cory C. Pulsipher for county sheriff
When voting, there are a few important dates to remember. Early voting goes from Oct. 23 through Nov. 3. The last day to register to vote is Oct. 30. Everyone wanting to vote in person can go to their assigned polling places between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Nov. 6.
If you forget to bring your ID when you go to cast your ballot, don’t worry; you can still vote. Just ask for a provisional ballot.
Voting is a right, and Utah is working on getting more people to express this right, even here on campus.
The Utah state lieutenant governors office is hosting Campus Cup, which is an election drive, Weston Zimmerman, student director of the institute of politics and accounting major from St. George, said.
Campus cup is a competition for each college and university in Utah and the winner is the school with the highest percentage of voter registration of their student body, he said.
Through the help of the team of the institute of politics along with various clubs across campus, 150 students have registered to vote as of now. Zimmerman said he is voting so his voice and opinions can be heard.
“I think once people understand the power of the info then they will be more inclined to [vote],” Zimmerman said.
Zimmerman said students can pick up voter information pamphlets in the student government room for the elections in the gardener center. For further information about registration go to Utah voter registration page. For further information about candidates, please visit Utah’s candidates’ website.