The 2018 general elections are right around the corner and now, more than ever, it is essential that Utah business rise to the occasion and prepare to vote. Utah residents know that a healthy and vibrant economy leads to the creation of additional jobs, increased revenue, higher wages and a better standard of living. Although this is the common goal, many have differing views as to how this goal is best achieved. It is imperative that the business community look at each candidate and issue on the ballot and determine which best promotes a growing and thriving Utah.

The outcome is not already determined – Your vote does matter
The nation is filled with a high level of discord and political ill will; conditions which yield unpredictable results. This discord trickles down to the state and local level and often leaves a bad taste in the mouth of Utah voters. These negative sentiments often lead to the toxic and false idea that voting doesn’t matter. This is not the case.

A perfect example of the power of voting can be found in the tight 4th congressional district race between Congresswoman Mia Love and Mayor Ben McAdams. In this race, as well as many others across the state, the outcome is far from determined. Not only are there competitive races for congressional and state legislature seats across Utah, there are also propositions and questions presented on the ballot this year, such as the legalization of medical cannabis, increasing education funding and Medicaid expansion, among others. All of these issues will certainly impact Utah businesses.

Voter turnout will be essential in determining the outcome of this election. Learning more about what each candidate stands for and how each proposition will be implemented will help Utah business leaders vote appropriately and take the future of the state into their hands. Your vote does matter.

The business community can make a difference
According to Justin Lee, director of elections for Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, only about 29% of Utah voters turned out to vote in the primary elections. Utah has long been recognized as one of the worst states for voter turnout, and now is the time for the business community to lead the way in changing this statistic.

Small actions pieced together are what will make the greatest impact. Businesses can encourage their employees to become engaged in the voting process by allowing them to take time off of work to vote if they haven’t done so by mail, incentivizing participation in events such as the upcoming Utah Debate Commission debates or the Salt Lake Chamber’s candidate forums. Employers can also make voter registration easy for their employees by leaving voter registration information in office common areas or mentioning it during a staff meeting. Taking these small steps to engage employees in the election process will ensure Utah increases its voter turnout. For more information about what is on the ballot, registering to vote or your current voting status, visit Business leaders can also learn more about the Salt Lake Chamber’s pro-growth, business focused agenda by reading our Top 10 Legislative Priorities.

Mailing in your ballot? Researching the candidates? Holding a company-wide voter registration drive? Share with us! Use the hashtag #UtahBizVotes this election season to be featured.