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Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Polls Are Open

You'll need some identification in order to vote. Here's anecdotal information about turnout, closing time, etc., and a link to a little tribute to candidates generally.

Utah is having municipal primary elections today. Polls are open in American Fork from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. The hours are probably the same statewide, but I certainly wouldn't guarantee it.

This is one of those elections where your vote counts more than usual, because turnout tends to be low. I voted in my precinct at about 7:50 a.m.; I was the sixth person to do so. Four of the other five were a candidate and his family. There are at least a few hundred registered voters in the precinct.

Be advised, we are now required to prove our identity in order to vote. This is a new requirement statewide. Some radicals object that this is discriminatory, but it seems very sensible to me as a means -- forgive me -- to discriminate against fraudulent voters and in favor of legitimate ones. Your driver license will be sufficient, or your passport. If you don't have either, see the Salt Lake County Clerk's list of other possibilities.

You can actually cast a provisional ballot without ID, but you'll have to present valid identification within five days after Election Day, presumably at the county clerk's office, or your ballot will not be counted. So save yourself a trip and take ID with you to the polls.

This is likely to vary from town to town, but in American Fork we're using paper ballots, and there aren't even any chads. They give you a pen and tell you to fill in the dots for the candidates of your choice. (One for mayor, up to two for city council.) Then you remove a stub from the top and return it to a poll worker, and insert the rest of the sheet into a large, higher-tech-than-usual Diebold ballot box.

Given the likely low turnout, we should start to see some numbers by 9:00 p.m. Candidates and their minions (such as I) will gather at American Fork's Historic City Hall to watch the City Clerk or one of his minions write numbers on a large board, as the various precincts' ballots are counted.

I will tweet updates as the counting proceeds; either follow LocalCommentary on Twitter or watch the new Twitter feed at my blog's main page.

In the meantime, may I suggest a rerun, as my tribute to all 12 of American Fork's candidates (while there still are 12)? It's an essay I wrote a few years ago about political courage, including that of candidates.

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