This is an archived article that was published on in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

You may have noticed that this space in recent days has been devoted to the upcoming election. There will be more and more of that in the Tribune and other news sources in the coming weeks, perhaps, if you think only of TV ads, to the point that it might be categorized as aversion therapy.

Utah voters, come Nov. 4, will be asked to select the occupants of various offices, from all four members of our delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives to the Utah's attorney general and a slate of county and school board offices.

Did we just say Nov. 4? Election Day? How retro. That's only the last day of voting.

Utah, to its great credit, offers various methods of early voting, as well as a permanent vote-by-mail option. If you are already on the permanent mail voting list, your ballots should be arriving any day now.

Early voting at county clerk's offices begins Monday and runs weekdays through, perhaps appropriately, Halloween. Counties also offer a selection of other early voting locations scattered around their jurisdictions on weekdays from Oct. 21-31.

To vote, of course, you must be registered. In Utah, you can do that in person at your county clerk's office, by mail or online. If you are not already registered, and wish to mail in your registration application, it must be postmarked by Monday. The deadline for online and in-person voter registration is Oct. 28. More information can be found at or at the various counties' websites.

And this year the Legislature has authorized a new wrinkle that should boost voter participation, or at least voter access, even more. Four counties — Salt Lake, Davis, Weber and Kane — are participating in a pilot program that allows qualified residents who are not already registered to register and vote at their polling station on Election Day.

Utahns can be proud that. Unlike several other states, registering and voting here is getting easier, not more difficult. ID expectations are reasonable and deadlines and methods are accommodating. Utahns should not be quite so proud of their own turnout records. Our state's active participation in the basic act of democracy is woefully bad.

That may be because of the state's unrepresentative caucus and convention system, or the perception that Republicans are the foreordained winners of most contests.

Whatever the reason for our low participation rate, voting in Utah is about as easy at it gets.

So you've got no excuse. Register. Vote. For most of us, it's the only real influence we have over our government.