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Editorial

Let's beat the terrible turnout of past elections

The lines at the polling places on Tuesday, Election Day, will hopefully start at 7 a.m., when voting starts, and continue until 8 p.m., when Campaign 2007 ends.

That’s unlikely, we realize, but we are pining for strong voter turnout in Park City and surrounding Summit County on Tuesday, even in what is traditionally an election cycle that draws mild interest from voters.

On Tuesday, voters in Park City will pick three City Councilors and say ‘Yea’ or ‘Nay’ to a ballot measure to pay for pedestrian and bicycling upgrades in the city, the first of its kind in Park City. Elsewhere, there are city or town council spots on the ballot on the East Side of Summit County and a referendum in Francis about the future of Hill Top Road.

Of course, the glitzy item on the ballot is whether Utah should offer vouchers to offset the cost of sending kids to private schools. The school-voucher referendum is the most polarizing issue on the ballot, and it will likely draw many more people to the polls than would typically vote in an off-year election. In the Snyderville Basin, where elections in odd-numbered years are rare, people can vote in 2007, compliments of the voucher referendum.

Better turnout is, obviously, a good thing, regardless of the reason, so we hope many more people head to the polls on Tuesday.

That is especially true in Park City, where turnout is sporadic in municipal elections, held in odd-numbered years. Barely one in four registered voters cast ballots in 2003, and the number was miserably low, less than 11 percent, in 2005.

Six names are on the Park City ballot, with the candidates offering voters differing career and activist backgrounds. The $15 million "walkability" ballot measure is pushed by an eclectic group of regular Parkites and elected officials.

People can vote early at City Hall through Friday. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

On Election Day, people who live in Old Town, Deer Valley and the sliver of Wasatch County in the city limits vote at City Hall.

Voters in Prospector, Thaynes Canyon and Sidewinder cast ballots at Treasure Mountain International School.

McPolin Elementary School is the polling place for people in Park Meadows, Quarry Mountain and the Ranch Road South precinct.

For more information about voting, call City Hall at 615-5025 or the Summit County Clerk’s Office at 615-3203 from the West Side. From the East Side, call 336-3203 to reach the Clerk’s Office.


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