The State of Utah’s website is terrible for people trying to find information about the 2008 election. Why isn’t there an obvious link to voter information right on the front page in big, bold type? And even once you have found the “Election and Voting” link in the “Government” drop-down menu, you still have to crawl through a bunch of hard-to-navigate links and sift through a ton information, some of it out-dated, to figure out where you are supposed to vote, who are the candidates for your particular area, etc.
Well, part of the reason is that the official Utah voter website isn’t on utah.gov. No, that would make too much sense. It is at www.LeaveYourPrint.com . Which doesn’t make any sense at all, because finger prints are not required to vote in Utah.
The Leave Your Print website IS the official government voter portal. So why isn’t there a big announcement for it right on the homepage of utah.gov? 21 Days left before the election and there isn’t a single link to LeaveYourprint.com anywhere from the official state website?
That said, LeaveYourPrint.com is a vast improvement over what has previously been available. If you live in Utah, I recommend that you go there as soon as possible. The interface is fairly clean, though the red theme is a bit strong.
The website will ask you for your name, birth date, the county in which you live, and the numerical portion of the beginning of the address of your residence.
Based on that information the website will tell you whether or not you are registered to vote, what party you are affiliated with if any, and your Precinct. Then it will then give you a list of all of the candidates, initiatives, constitutional amendments, etc. that will appear on your ballot. Each ballot item is a link to information about the candidate, with contact information and websites so you can learn more. The candidate information portion of the website could be better implemented. Currently it is just a bunch of PDF documents. But it is better than nothing.
The website really should include mash-ups with Google maps to show precinct, district, and county boundaries, as well as your voting location, but it doesn’t. At least it tells you where you are supposed to go to vote, though.
Remember, the last day for registering to vote by mail has already passed. You can still register in person at your county clerk’s office through October 20th. However, if you were not registered to vote by October 6, you are not eligible for early voting, so if you register in person by the 20th, you will have to vote on November 4th.
You should re-register if your name has changed, or you have moved to a new residence since you last registered.
Please take the time to learn about the candidates before the election.
So in sum: the new tools provided on the website are a great step forward. But the “Leave Your Print” domain name and website name is lame and confusing and frankly, a waste of money. The marketing guy who came up with it should be fired. These tools should simply be at vote.utah.gov with a great big, obvious link on the front page of the utah.gov website. The fact that there are NO LINKS to the new website from utah.gov, let alone on the front page, is completely inexcusable.