Chances are, most Utahns have a lot of things on their minds this week. The weather is nice. Many are thinking about vacations, camping trips or chores around the house or yard. The primary election likely isn't at the top of the list - at least not if history is a precursor.
When Republicans and Democrats pressed the Legislature in 1993 to move primary elections from September to June, it was so that important races could be whittled to two candidates earlier enough so that campaign spending could be concentrated on the important general election.But the first, and so-far only, time Utah held a June primary, in 1994, barely 10 percent of registered voters showed up. Some election judges ended the day qualified for membership in the lonely hearts club.
Don't let that happen again on Tuesday. The races at stake are far too important.
Each election year, some voters choose to ignore primary elections, figuring the general election in November is the only one that really matters. They are figuring wrong. This time, two candidates each are vying for the chance to represent the Republicans and Democrats in Utah's second congressional district. Two also are contesting the Republican candidacy in the third district. School board, county commission and legislative races also are being hotly contested.
Representative government demands an informed and intelligent electorate. Merely assuming that this act of self-education can wait until the choice has been narrowed to two doesn't satisfy that demand. Real differences exist, even between candidates of the same party. What a shame if the best people for the job were eliminated in June because of a lack of interest among voters who decided to wait until November.
The Deseret News has done its best to tell readers how the candidates stand on the issues. With Utah growing as never before and facing the difficult task of preparing for new demands on services and infrastructure, these issues are important to all.
Don't be one of those who is surprised Tuesday to learn an election is underway. Educate yourself now and get out to vote.