Directory

Political Party Purpose

Political parties are nearly as old as the United States. The founders did not specify that parties would be part of the government, but the necessity to organize around competing ideas in order to win elections and govern led to their formation. Parties define and express a group's needs and wants in a way that the public and political system can understand. A party brings together various viewpoints on an issue and develops enough common ideas among enough people so that pressure can be brought to bear upon the political system.

Voter Registration

Utah finds itself near the bottom of the list when it comes to the proportion of citizens who register to vote and the proportion of registered voters who take the opportunity to cast their ballot.  A few decades ago, the state was near the top when it came to voter registration and participation in elections.  While experts consider why this change has occurred, the obvious remedy is to take action.  Registering to vote in Utah is straight forward and takes only a few minutes to accomplish.

Redistricting in Utah

The statewide redistricting process brought about following the 2010 Census made significant changes to boundaries for U. S. Congressional districts as well as state legislative and school board districts. Many Utahns find themselves in newly redrawn districts and will likely be voting for candidates they may be unfamiliar with from prior elections. Online and county clerk resources can help determine which legislative and school board districts you reside in.

Party Conventions

Party conventions in April bring together the delegates selected at March neighborhood meetings to choose which candidates running for various races will advance to the November general election.  Since the party caucus meetings, candidates have been courting the delegates to lock in their votes at the convention, but it is during the convention that the final appeal gets made with speeches and behind the scenes lobbying.

Utah Primary Elections

Tuesday June 26 will see Utahns casting ballots in the state’s Primary Election. The two candidates who received the most delegate votes at the party conventions but did not reach the threshold to win the party’s spot on the November election ballot will face each other in the Primary Election.

State Offices

The Utah constitution requires voters select other executive officers to administer the state beyond the Governor and Lt. Governor. The state’s Attorney General, Auditor, and Treasurer campaign to convince voters that their vision for the office they hope to occupy is best for Utahns.  

The Attorney General represents the state’s legal interests.  The State Auditor has the charge to insure state agencies expend state funds according to law and contractual obligation.  The State Treasurer insures the state has funds needed to meet its financial commitments.

Voting Methods

Text The numbers of voting age persons in Utah casting ballots has dropped by nearly 40 percent over the past 40 years. One reason potential voters give for not voting involves the perceived inconvenience of traditional voting at a polling location on Election Day. In Utah there are two methods voters can use to make voting more convenient for themselves. The first involves absentee voting, in which voters receive a ballot they fill out and return prior to election day. A voter must apply for an absentee ballot. The application is available online from the Utah Lt.

Voter ID Laws

In 2009, the Utah Legislature determined that state elections would be more protected from fraud if voters were required to provide identification at the polling place. The concept of voter identification laws is controversial. Several states have enacted such measures with the stated goal of making election results more reliable and trustworthy. Opponents, however, point out that such laws can disenfranchise those in society for whom obtaining official identification can be difficult, especially the poor and elderly.