Primaries for our local elections have already snuck up on us, as it hardly feels like late summer already.
But on Tuesday, the last ballots will be cast and counted.
As far as elections go, this year isn’t considered “big” by any means.
Across Weber, Davis and Box Elder counties there are 21 primary election races for city council and mayoral seats to move on to the general election in November.
Most races have no fewer than three to six candidates competing for registered voters’ tallies.
Among some of the more high-profile and hotly contested races are the Ogden mayoral race, Layton mayor, North Ogden City Council — with a whopping 11 candidates running — and Layton, Clearfield and Roy city councils, topping out at 10 candidates each.
The elections are being carried out through vote by mail; registered voters should have already received their ballots in the mail weeks ago. If you have not yet filled out your mailed ballot at home and still need to research your city’s candidates and their views, the Standard-Examiner’s 2019 Northern Utah Primary Voter Guide is available at https://www.standard.net/special_sections/candidates/2019/primary/. It includes information on each candidate, their background and what they see as their city’s top issues.
With just three days until the primary, voters have few options left to cast their ballot. Mailed ballots must be posted by Monday. Otherwise, you can drop them off at an official ballot dropbox through Tuesday, or visit one of the limited in-person polling locations Tuesday until 8 p.m.
While smaller city elections might lack the glamour and controversy of a national stage and presidential year, they are incredibly important. The candidates who take the most votes in the primary will move on to select spots in the general election, at which time they will either win the office or lose.
As much of Utah grows in development and population, city councils make crucial decisions that affect our daily lives, from the property taxes we pay to the take on managing development surrounding our neighborhoods.
Mayors and city councils act as your local executive and legislative branches of government, respectively. They are the closest form of government to the people.
Your fellow neighbors elected into these positions will decide on a city’s given priorities, future development, city code and ordinances, and will weigh in on issues like approving high-density housing developments or bumping a city’s tobacco use ordinance to restrict those under 21 years of age.
Working as a mayor or city council member is a significant commitment of public service. Running for office is not always a walk in the park either, which is why we commend the dozens of candidates who filed; our democratic governments work best when multiple challengers contend for a vote and — ideally — those best poised to serve as the voice of the people are subsequently elected into office.