Reading material for Election Day
October 31, 2008
Many voters on Tuesday will be clenching an 87-page booklet as they head to the polls.
With its red, white and black front cover, the Utah Voter Information Pamphlet will be popular reading before and on Election Day. The pamphlet, which is published by the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, was sent to registered voters in Utah. Copies are available throughout Summit County as well.
Inside, the pamphlet offers detailed information about candidates, proposed amendments to the Utah Constitution and judges who are on the ballot. It also provides instructions that describe how to use the touch-screen voting machines that Utah uses.
"People have used them comprehensively, from what I’ve observed," says Cindy LoPiccolo, who is City Hall’s elections officer and who has monitored the pre-Election Day voting at the Park City Library and Education Center, which ended on Friday.
She says many voters bring the guides to the voting machines to use them as they make their selections.
Inside the pamphlet, candidates for offices like Congress, the governor’s office and the state attorney general are given space for brief campaign statements, with the comments generally covering well-established platforms.
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Rep. Rob Bishop, the incumbent Republican Congressman who represents Summit County, talks about national security, energy and public lands, and he provides one-paragraph biography. His Democratic challenger, Morgan Bowen, urges the end of lobbyist influence and eliminating the national debt.
The pamphlet lists contact information for the candidates in state contests, but they are not provided space for their platforms.
The pamphlets are available at numerous public buildings around Summit County. In Park City, they are at Miners Hospital and the Library and Education Center. Summit County election officials say the pamphlets are at the Kimball Junction library, the library in Kamas and the library in Coalville.
Ryan Cowley, Summit County’s chief deputy clerk, says the pamphlets will be available at polling places on Election Day.
Cowley says the pamphlets can be especially helpful when voters are considering candidates and issues that garner sparse attention from the press. He says judicial elections and constitutional amendments this year have not received lots of publicity, but voters on Tuesday will decide those as they also vote in the big-name campaigns for the White House, Congress and the Statehouse.
The pamphlet provides impartial analyses and arguments for and against constitutional amendments. It also publishes the results of surveys taken of attorneys of the judges on the ballot.
The pamphlet is nonpartisan.
Information is also available on the Internet, at http://www.LeaveYourPrint.com, a Web site from the Office of the Lieutenant Governor.
Cowley, who says he read the pamphlet before he cast an absentee ballot, says the information about the judges was especially helpful as he made his selections.
He hopes voters read the pamphlet before they arrive at the polls on Tuesday. Doing so, he says, could shorten lines on Election Day because the voters could have made their choices before they step to the touch-screen machines.
"Most of the people who take them pore through it and see," he says.