By JONATHAN MAX WILSON
Yeah, we’ve all heard it before: Too few people participate in the elections. Too few people vote. Who knows how much money is spent on television and radio commercials urging citizens to exercise their right to vote. Even The Daily Universe tells us to listen to what is being said while we are channel surfing so that we can be informed about the candidates. Though perhaps written with good intention, these media pep talks do little to help the people find out about the candidates and vote.
We have the responsibility to inform ourselves about the candidates. Rather than lecturing us on our responsibility and providing us with biased analysis, the media should give us the tools that empower us to vote and make an informed choice. It seems the media are preoccupied with who has the most money, or who makes the biggest waves that many of the candidates get lost in the sound bites and headlines, skewing our view of the issues. But thanks to the Internet we can now get information directly from the candidates and their supporters. We can even download mail-in voter registration forms. Here is a list of useful information and Internet resources to empower readers to vote:
The election events in Utah are: the 2000 Presidential Primary, March 10; the 2000 Primary Election, June 27; and the 2000 General Election, Nov. 7.
In Utah, you must be registered to vote 20 days before the election.
To register in Utah you must be a United States citizen, have lived in Utah for 30 days before the election, be at least 18 years old, and not be a convicted felon currently incarcerated for committing a felony.
Even if you have registered in the past, if you have changed addresses or if your name has changed you need to reregister.
You can print out a mail-in Utah Voter Registration form from the Internet at http://governor.state.ut.us/lt_gover/mail_in.PDF (in Adobe Acrobat Reader format).
Utah County residents should mail their registration forms to Utah County Clerk, Attn: Elections, 100 E. Center St., Room 3600, Provo, Utah 84606, or fax it to 370-8232.
For a complete list of Utah County clerks and their addresses go to http://www.governor.state.ut.us/lt_gover/97Clerks.htm.
Call the Utah County Clerk’s office at (801) 370-8226 for any questions about registering to vote or where to vote.
For information about registering in other states, go to http://fecweb1.fec.gov/votregis/faq/vfaq.htm. You can download a National Voter Registration form at http://fecweb1.fec.gov/votregis/pdf/nvra.pdf.
The Web sites of the major presidential candidates for the Democratic Party are Al Gore, http://www.algore2000.com, and Bill Bradley, http://www.billbradley.com.
The Web sites of the major presidential candidates for the Republican Party are Gary Bauer, http://www.bauer2k.com; George W. Bush, http://www.georgewbush.com; Steve Forbes, http://www.forbes2000.com; Orrin Hatch, http://www.orrinhatch.org; Alan Keyes, http://www.keyes2000.org; and John McCain, http://www.mccain2000.com.
The Web site for Pat Buchanan of the Reform Party is http://www.buchananreform.org.
Many of the candidates offer e-mail newsletters you can sign up for. Subscribe to several and compare the information each candidate sends you in your e-mail. Subscribe to newsletters through the candidates’ Web sites.
Visit http://politics1.com/p2000.htm for a list of the Web sites of any other candidates.
To view video clips of the candidates’ speeches, commercials or their responses to debate questions, go to http://www.c-span.org/campaign2000/search/.
To compare the different candidates’ views of the issues go to http://www.issues2000.org/.
To find out what other issues and offices are being decided in the election go to http://www.governor.state.ut.us/lt_gover/toc.htm.
Take the time to find out about the candidates and how they differ from one another. Share the information above with others and vote for whom you think will best represent you. It is our responsibility to become informed.