So one of the cool things about running for Congress as somebody who's new to the process in general is that I get to share my discoveries with everybody who's interested as I discover them. There are a lot of difficulties associated with it, of course (who knew campaign finances could be so complicated?), so it's good to be able to share them in the hopes that future Congressional hopefuls won't run into as many stumbling blocks as I did.
One of those came a few days ago, when I was learning about Utah's convention system. The process really begins for the public with the caucuses for nominating delegates for the political party. It's something that every registered party member can take part in (or, if you're not registered, you can declare your affiliation there so long as you'll be 18 by the time the election occurs and you're a registered voter), so there's no reason not to participate as long as you have time and know where to go and when to go! Which is where I started getting curious. It certainly sounded like a wonderful thing to take part in, but the process of actually figuring out where the correct location was for my precinct was easier said than done. In order to save you a few slightly embarrassing minutes of searching and pondering, here's how I found out what my voting precinct was and the time and location of my caucus meeting.
Step One: Find your voter registration information and voting precinct.
Utah actually has a very robust and easy-to-use voter information system, so long as you know what you're looking for! In this case, you're looking for your voter information. For this, just head over to vote.utah.gov and click on the sentence "find my voter registration info" on the page.
You can see it in the bottom-left corner of these six main links pictured above. The other pages and resources on the page are also great, so I recommend checking them out if you have the time! I've also included a link directly to the "find my voter registration info" page in the above image, so you can also just click on it.
Once you've clicked on that, you'll see a page with an online form asking you for some information, specifically, your first and last name, date of birth, street address, city name, and your zip code. It will look like this:
I filled out some of it beforehand, so if you were curious about when I was born, there you go! The Utah.gov webpage shouldn't ask you for more information than this, and it is a free service. I haven't seen anything suspicious out there, but it can't hurt to make sure that everybody knows that as well.
Once you've filled that out, you'll be taken to a final page with your voter registration information. (If you don't get any results and you're sure you filled everything out correctly, make sure that you're registered to vote. There are a number of resources out there you can use, I personally checked and made sure of my own status at vote.org, and you can always go to the DMV!) There's quite a bit of information there, and you should go through all of the additional information listed on the right side of the page, but the information we're most interested in for determining where and when our caucus meeting location is will be our voting precinct:
It's in-between your physical address and your voter ID number, both of which I blurred out just to keep my privacy a little more secure. It's good to keep your personal information as private as possible, just as a rule of thumb!
So in my case, as you can see in the image above, my voting precinct is PLV005:V Plv005:V. This is incredibly helpful information, but not on its own. In order to glean more information about the caucus meeting time and location, we need to verify the information we just obtained with the Utah Democrats website. (Here I do need to confirm that I am affiliated with, and running for office as a member of, the Democratic party. Other parties will almost certainly have a similar process beyond this point, I'd be surprised if they didn't, but I'm not going to go into detail regarding their intricacies within this blog post. Even so, I hope this was still helpful, and thank you for reading this post and browsing the campaign site!) Make sure that you have your voting precinct information readily accessible before moving on to step two.
Step Two: Verifying your voting precinct and finding your caucus meeting time and location.
The Democratic Party of Utah's digital representation is located at https://utahdemocrats.org/, and is definitely worth a visit to find out more about important events and volunteer opportunities beyond what I can and will be able to offer! They are a wonderful resource, but for the purposes of simply finding a caucus meeting location, the sheer amount of information and resources offered can be a bit overwhelming. There isn't (at least, as of my writing this in late February) a specific page for caucus meeting times and locations. What we're actually going to want to find is more information about counties, which does have its own dedicated tab.
You can see it on the upper bar, in-between "contact" and "governing docs". Alternatively, you can just click on the image to get to where it will take you. And do consider making a donation if you can! I will do my best, but at the very least, they were here before me, and regardless of how well I do, they will be here after me.
So here the process becomes a bit more individualized and depends on your individual county. (There are many ways to find your specific county, such as looking up your general address information online to determine where you're located. It's a good thing to know!) What you're looking for now is your county's party page, specifically to find its unique website. I happen to live within Weber county, and was able to find a link to the county party page on the third page of the Counties tab.
You can see the Weber County Party page listed above, just above the tool used to switch between different pages.
So unfortunately I am not sure what individual pages look like for all of the counties, but in the case of the Weber county party, there was a readily available link to their website immediately upon clocking on the link to see their county party page. From there, the process became increasingly streamlined. There was an immediately visible page to learn more about caucus night (March 24th at 6 PM), and upon searching for my voting precinct on the page, I discovered where my caucus meeting location would be. I wish this information was more broadly applicable, but unfortunately, it really does become a process contingent on your individual county location and voting precinct information. Even so, this should all still work for you!
Thank you so much for reading this, and I hope that it was informative! Regardless of your intentions to vote for me or not, or even to vote for a Democratic candidate, I hope this will inspire you to become more active and participate. 2020 is going to be an exciting year for the United States and for Utah, let's all contribute to making it as good as possible!
All the best,