The Grassroots Advocacy Partnership is all about the Utah County disability community. The GAP blog will be a focal point for Utah disability news and legislative action. In a time where Utah disability agency budgets are being cut and services being slashed, it's critical that all families living with disabilities share their voices!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Utah County Election Resources

Are You Ready to Vote?

A lot of what the GAP does is in advocacy, and much of that revolves around politics and the legislature, especially at the state level.  So much of what happens in the daily life of a family dealing with disability or special medical needs is determined by the programs that can support that family.  And, of course, those programs are funded and set up by the government.  Most programs, even most of the ones mandated by the federal government, are managed by the state, so the state legislature is really critical to the life of the family.

In a few days, we’ve got elections coming up.  In blogging about this, it’s not my intention to tell people what to do or who to vote for.  Each American must vote his/her conscience.  In my mind, however, to vote without information is unconscionable.

To that end, I’ve compiled, in one spot, a list of resources intended to help the voter in Utah County find out what each candidate stands for, and choose their vote.  

What’s Your District?

First of all, it’s a good idea to know what congressional district you live in.  Utah County is divided into two Federal Congressional Districts, the 2nd and the 3rd.  In each district, citizens vote for Representatives in the House.  This is critical, because this is the house that originates all of the budgetary bills, and budget is going to be the area that most impacts the disability community.

Here’s a link to a site where you can find your Federal Congressional District.

The Utah senators are not divided into districts, and each must run a state-wide campaign.

As I mentioned, the state level is where much of the action happens, impacting daily life of the Utah disabled citizen.  Often, however, people don’t even know their state districts, or who their representative is.   Here’s a site where you can find your State Legislative Districts.

Who’s Running, and For What?

Once you know your districts, you can take a look at who’s running and find out more about them.  Here’s a link to a site that lists all of the candidates, in all parties, for all of the offices that impact Utah County.  In many cases, there’s a candidate website link listed there as well.  Click into that and check out their policies.  They might have contact forms or email links so that you can ask them questions about their stands on Utah Disability issues.

Where Do I Vote?

Once you’ve researched and decided who to vote for, you’ll need to know where your voting precinct is.  Don’t just assume that it’ll be the same place that it’s always been.  I’ve been surprised on some election days to find that the location has been moved.  Check before you go.  Here’s a site where you can find your precinct.  

A Final Note

Clearly, since GAP is all about Utah Disability Advocacy, we’re very interested in what the candidates have to say about disability issues.  We would hope that all of the families that have disability issues in Utah and Utah county would weigh that information very heavily in their own voting decisions.  We also realize, however, that there are a lot of other issues at stake in each election.  

Please, each voter should find out, first, who is running in his/her district, and, second, what that candidate stands for in all issues.  Then, he/she should choose who would best represent.

Here’s a site for more general Utah County Election Information, and you can also always just contact the Utah County Clerk’s office at (801) 851-8000

Truly, voting is the single most patriotic act an American can do. 

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