Utahns – Your Ballots Were Mailed Today

7 mins read
Vote Utah

Dear Friends and Supporters:

Today, ballots begin to be mailed across Utah’s 2nd congressional district, all 14 counties-wide, a vast sweep of land that is both increasingly diverse demographically and, without a doubt, politically complex. Blue. Red. Purple. Today, October 13, is an important marker in a long year that has had so many of us looking for a way to get to more national unity and better policies for our families and neighbors.

That begins with voting. Voting early. Voting without delay. Voting all the way through your ballot, from President to judges.

Across the U.S., state election officials have begun to see what appears to be a “Blue Wave” of mail-in ballots despite Trump’s and Trumpists’ intent to suppress the vote. Utah can be part of that wave starting this week. County clerks, in both red and blue counties in our Beehive State, tell us that the earlier they receive ballots, the more likely any problems can be identified in order to ensure a proper tally.
Find statewide & county-by-county voting information here.

As the Democratic candidate in Utah’s CD2, I will be dropping off my own ballot ASAP, then tracking it online to ensure receipt. I encourage you to do the same. In-person voting Election Day has been discouraged because of ongoing COVID-19 public health concerns.

You can find information about all the candidates on your ballot at Utah’s voter information site.

Or at the election guide sponsored by the respected and non-partisan League of Women Voters: https://www.vote411.org/

I also wanted to share with you a couple of sample ballots that candidates receive from county clerks. It feels real, for sure, when you see your name in print—and, I am glad to report, above my chief opponent’s name. (Ballot order is based on a random formula laid out by Utah’s lieutenant governor’s office.)

One sample ballot is from Salt Lake County (pop. 1.16 million), Utah’s most urban area. The other is from Wayne County (pop. 2,690), one of Utah’s most rural places. Both reflect the diverse spread of geography and voters in a gerrymandered district carved out by Utah’s GOP-dominated legislature to prevent a Democrat, any Democrat, from winning.

Utah Ballot

Well, I trust the voters in this district despite being specifically designed to be ultra-safe for an incumbent who refuses to engage voters beyond his Republican base. Unlike Mr. Stewart, I have not avoided the hard places—or the tough questions.

A related personal note: my now-deceased uncle won many elections in rural Utah across three decades. After almost being killed in Vietnam (he enlisted right out of high school), former-Sergeant Chad Johnson put his name on a ballot as a proud Democrat for Beaver County Commission and then made the case. As you can see from this old ballot that had county-wide results recorded on it, Beaver County voters—like much of Utah at the time—used to split the ticket. This year, thanks to the work of iconic former state legislator, Patrice Arent, Utahns can no longer straight-party vote. (Thank you, Patrice.)

Finally, I want to mention a couple of recent conversations I have had with CD2 residents this week. Both happened at town halls, one on Salt Lake’s west side, the other in Farmington, hometown of Chris Stewart.

One voter told me he had voted for Trump in 2016 but “never again.” He went on to say:

Trump got rid of a lot of good people … generals, others with real national security experience. Several minds are better than one, particularly the ones who disagree. Economic inequality is creeping through the middle class. We are headed for more rough economic times no matter who wins. People feel the system is rigged because it is. I was skeptical before attending your town hall, but I’m glad I went. You have my vote.

In Stewart’s hometown of Farmington, a voter explained how a failed U.S. healthcare system was leading to the loss of her property and ongoing immense personal strain for the whole family. She stated, with understandable emotion:

Medical debt collectors are forcing us to sell our property this Friday. We can’t switch doctors because any kind of past balance due shows up. Our $200 bill meant no one will see us. We are forced to pay cash for everything. On Facebook, when we try to raise our situation, Stewart will only respond to those who agree with him.

It is going to take all of us—former Trump supporters and desperate Utah families of all political persuasions facing bankruptcy due to medical bills—to get urgent laws passed. We need legislation to help, not further hurt, our neighbors in whichever ZIP Code of CD2 we call home.

Thank you for your support. Thank you for voting. Thank you for voting early.

Kael Weston

Upcoming Events

Please join us for masked and socially distanced in-person events and for online events. You can always find the latest events on the campaign website.

Tuesday, October 13
Ballots Mailed throughout Utah

Ballots will be mailed to you by your county clerk.

Wednesday, October 14, 7:00PM
Young Voter Q&A with Ben McAdams & Kael Weston

Register for this online event.

Monday, October 19, 6:00PM
CD2 Debate, Utah Debate Commission

To watch on television or online, see UDC schedule.

Wednesday, October 21, 7:00 – 9:00PM
Forum with Kael Weston, hosted by Dixie State University Institute of Politics & St George Area Chamber of Commerce

In person at the Dolores Doré Eccles Fine Arts Center, 255 South 700 East, St George, Utah 84770.

DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.

A native Utahn, Kael Weston served for over a decade in the U.S. State Department, including seven years in Iraq and Afghanistan. During his government career, specific assignments included: U.S. representative on the UN Security Council’s Al Qaeda/Taliban Sanctions Committee in New York; Iraq team, Political Section, U.S. Mission to the United Nations; State Department Political Adviser to a dozen Marine commanding generals, including during and after the biggest battle of the Iraq War (Fallujah, 2004-2007). In this role, he and Marine leaders were responsible for rebuilding the city’s infrastructure, facilitating the return of hundreds of thousands of Fallujans back into the city, establishing a new city council despite numerous assassinations of local politicians, and working closely with Iraqi governors in Ramadi and central Iraqi government representatives in Baghdad. Several nation-wide elections and a constitutional referendum were held across Iraq during this time.

In eastern Afghanistan’s Khost Province, Kael helped prioritize over $50 million dollars in U.S. reconstruction funds and worked to reintegrate former Taliban fighters in coordination with U.S. military leaders and Khost’s Afghan governor. He also met with a group of former Guantanamo Prison detainees and helped lead U.S. government political engagement with Afghan tribal and religious leaders. In Helmand Province, he worked directly with a Marine commanding general during the 2008-2009 U.S. troop surge that doubled Marine forces in the area from just under 11,000 to almost 20,000.

Kael is the author of the book, The Mirror Test (Knopf, 2016) a New York Times Editors’ Choice (NYT Book Review) and Military Times’ Best Book of the Year. He has taught at the college level in Utah and in Quantico, Virginia, at Marine Corps University, as well as leading seminars at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Kael writes monthly for the Salt Lake Tribune and has contributed to NPR, New York Times, Washington Post, The Hill, Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, Daily Beast, and other publications.

For Kael Weston’s multi-year service in Fallujah, Iraq, the State Department awarded him the Secretary of State’s Medal for Heroism.

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