We’re taking a break from our normally scheduled programming of chastising unregistered (and registered) voters to act and read up on elections, to well ... to pay them justice where it’s owed.
Utah County voters turned out, not just in vote by mail, but many took the responsibility of voting seriously on Tuesday and went to the limited, physical polling locations across the valley to cast their very long ballot on local races and state issues.
In light of the recent death of fellow Utahn, North Ogden mayor Maj. Brent Taylor, taking advantage of the right to vote — acknowledging those who have made the greatest sacrifice to uphold that — seemed especially near and dear.
In the days before he was attacked and killed in Afghanistan, Taylor posted about the Afghan election and in part wrote: “As the USA gets ready to vote in our own election next week, I hope everyone back home exercises their precious right to vote. And whether the Republicans or the Democrats win, that we all remember that we have far more as Americans that unites us than divides us. ‘United we stand, divided we fall.’”
For many on Tuesday, that meant waiting in line at least an hour if not longer. Some faithful voters reported waiting in line for hours on end, even until midnight in Utah County — long after polls had closed at 8 p.m. — as lines hardly crept along, unable to handle the masses in a timely or responsible manner.
No one should have to wait so long as to miss putting their kid to bed. It’s ridiculous.
But, Utah voters toughed it out even when they shouldn’t have had to. Kudos to all who mailed their ballot (with unpaid postage), dropped it off or registered and cast a ballot on Nov. 6. You participated in a crucial part of democracy that will shape the coming years of Utah with a new senator, re-elected congressmen, bonds and propositions.
It is exciting to see Utahns moved to vote, regardless of party or viewpoints. Our community is stronger for it.
With the issues faced at the limited polls, we expect elected county officials to appropriately address and review Election Day and the problems that caused voters to wait until after midnight to cast their ballot, because frankly that does not spell out success.
Clearly, the organization and setting up three to five booths per polling location was insufficient to adequately direct and handle the flow of traffic and subsequently filed ballots that remain to be counted. We hope and expect the recently elected County Clerk/Auditor Amelia Powers is prepared to get to work once in office to improve upon the constant problem-riddled system in Utah County to serve a growing valley of voters eager to weigh in on local politics — lest we create more barriers or reasons to discourage participation.