This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
No, this year's election is not fixed. And it's not broken. At least not in Utah.
But the fact that state and county officials across the nation and from every political persuasion are confident that the election is on the up-and-up, that won't matter much if folks don't go to the effort to vote.
And, in Utah, that's not difficult.
Except, perhaps, for the fact that procedures, schedules and options vary from county to county. Information is available from each county clerk's office and through the Utah Lieutenant Governor's Elections Office (vote.utah.gov).
In 21 of the state's 29 counties including Salt Lake, Davis and Summit this election is basically being conducted by mail, and every registered voter should have received their ballots by now. (If you haven't, contact your county clerk's office.)
That gives everyone ample time to see what decisions have been put before them, consider, research, ponder and get their ballots back in time to be counted. If you are mailing it back in, it must be postmarked by no later than the day before Election Day, or Nov. 7. There's even an online widget that allows you to check to see if your ballot has been received.
If you've lost yours, put it off to the last minute or just long for the old fashioned feeling of walking into a polling place, each county offers one or more options that feel more like the traditional means of walking into a polling place and casting a ballot, up to and including Election Day.
Some counties, notably Utah and Tooele counties, are sticking to the traditional Election Day polling places. Though they also offer some early voting stations.
And this year, eight counties, including Salt Lake, Davis and Weber, are running an experiment that allows voters who aren't already registered to register at the polls on Election Day.
So excuses for not voting in most of Utah are minimal.
Especially this year, when the state's six electoral votes may actually be up for grabs. And, while the polls and tradition point to statewide and congressional contests tilting toward Republicans, there are also local bond issues, elections for some city, township and county offices, seats in the Legislature, local and state school board positions and three amendments to the Utah Constitution.
Voters are also being asked if they want to retain or reject a list of state and local judges. About that, more at judges.utah.gov .
So most voters have a chance to take their time and be considerate. But perhaps the best thing about mail ballots and other early voting options is that, once you've cast that vote, you are excused from listening to any more campaign ads.
So vote already.