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Time to vote

Published October 24, 2012 3:42 pm

Now, finally, it is your turn
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

"Our political leaders will know our priorities only if we tell them, again and again, and if those priorities begin to show up at the polls." — Peggy Noonan

If you vote now, you can honorably ignore all those vicious television commercials that have been driving every one of us nuts for weeks.

Utah allows several ways of voting ahead of the traditional First Tuesday in November. Mail-in ballots for those who requested them were sent out earlier this month and can be returned in one of two ways: by mail, with a postmark of Nov. 5 or earlier, or by dropping them by your polling station on Election Day, Nov. 6. Applications for voting by mail — technically, absentee voting — will be accepted by county clerks' offices as late as the Friday before the election, with ballots mailed out as late as that day.

In Salt Lake County, voters could cast their ballots early by dropping by the county clerk's office, 2001 S. State Street, as early as Oct. 8. Those polling hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., through Nov. 2, with an additional opportunity this Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

And, as of Tuesday, additional early-voting locations sprang up around the state. Those sites will be open at least four hours every business day through Nov. 2. There are 21 such locations in Salt Lake County alone, and voters can choose whichever one is most convenient for them. Other counties may have fewer, perhaps only one, such early voting location. But all counties in Utah offer voters that option.

And, of course, the regular polling places around the state, and the nation, will be open Nov. 6. In Utah, polling places will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. As with many other endeavors, it can be a good idea to get there early to beat the crowds.

At least, we hope there will be crowds. All the TV time, newspaper ink, rallies, web designs, yard signs, door-knocking, hand-shaking, baby-kissing, parade-walking, and debating (or debate-dodging) would be far worse than merely annoying if people don't actually do their part and vote.

It's the only day — well, now, the only month — of the political year when the opinions of the average American adult are known to matter. Not only would it be ungrateful of this generation to walk away from the right that so many of our ancestors have fought for, that so many people around the world long for, it would mean that all the labors of the candidates and their supporters, and all the suffering of the average TV viewer, would be for naught.

So vote, already.