Deseret Morning News Archives

Admit it. Deep down you envy those folks in Iowa and New Hampshire. By tradition and state law, those states get first crack at winnowing down the field of candidates for president of the United States. (You may have wondered, "What makes them so special?" or "Why do they get first dibs?")

As the campaign season has worn on in previous years, people in the West have had little say regarding the candidates who end up on the November ballot. It's been a bummer.

That will all change on Tuesday when Utahns can take part in the Western Presidential Primary. Utah will conduct primary elections among the respective Republican and Democratic candidates. If you're registered as a Democrat, a Republican or as unaffiliated, you can take part in "Super-Duper" Tuesday. When the election results come rolling in Tuesday night, Utah will be in the mix. For Republican candidates, 36 delegates are at stake. Among Democrats, 29 delegates are up for grabs.

Here's how it works. To vote a Republican ballot, you must either be a registered Republican or unaffiliated. However, you must affiliate with the Republican Party to vote. You can affiliate at the polling place on election day.

To vote a Democrat ballot, you must be a registered Democrat or unaffiliated. However, unaffiliated voters who cast ballots in the Democratic primary need not affiliate with the Democratic party. Although Utah is considered one of the reddest states in the nation, most voters don't wear their party affiliation on their sleeves. Approximately 1.04 million Utah voters are unaffiliated while another 538,305 are registered Republicans, and 125,992 are Democrats. What this means is, a good many of you are eligible to take part.

So don't miss out on this opportunity to help select the candidates for the November presidential ballot. A recent Deseret Morning News/KSL-TV poll found that 67 percent of eligible Utahns definitely plan to vote. We strongly encourage them to do so. Polls will be open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Read up on the respective candidates and make an informed choice.

Then watch the returns come in on Tuesday night and bask in the knowledge that Utah was a player on "Super-Duper" Tuesday and had some say in the selection of the next president of the United States.