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Election news from across Utah's statewide and national races in 2020.

Candidate Spreadsheets And Morality: How One Undecided Utah Voter Is Weighing His Options

A graphic of Nery Ralon.
Renee Bright
Unaffiliated voter Nery Ralon was raised in a poor neighborhood in Arizona, and said he became more conservative when he moved to Utah to attend Brigham Young University.

There are a lot of races on the ballot for the November election — and a lot of issues that may impact the way people vote. This week, KUER is bringing you profiles of voters from across Utah to see what’s on their mind as they look toward the election.

Note: Responses have been edited for length and clarity.

Name: Age:  Race:
Nery Ralon  32 Hispanic
Lives in: Occupation:  Registered Party:
Duchesne County      Stay-at-home dad and Marketing Consultant     Unaffiliated

How would you describe your political leanings?

I haven't quite identified where I am exactly on the spectrum, but I probably would maybe identify as a moderate.

In terms of immigration, I think the policy should be focused less on borders and stopping people from coming in, to more on fixing the process for people coming in. I'm a child of illegal immigrants. So that's part of the reason why I like that.

I'm more moderate for gun control. So I wouldn't say I'm for 100% gun control and all the regulations, but I'm not for 100% open guns.

I’m against abortion.

I'm not exactly against a lot of the beliefs of the Democratic Party. But I'm against how they approach it. So, I don't like the Democratic Party [because] a lot of their stances on helping the poor or underprivileged communities. I think the Democratic Party makes it actually worse for people of color and underrepresented demographics. If there had to be a specific example I could give, I would probably say, in terms of welfare programs. It feels like a lot of their programs have just been putting money into programs that don't work. A lot of the programs have a lot of holes where people can cheat the system.

How has your life experience impacted your political views?

Growing up with immigrants, I wouldn't say [I had] a liberal view, just no political ideology whatsoever. Politics was not ever something we really talked about, except for, if we really hated somebody, lots of times they were usually Republican because of some type of racial policy.

Having grown up with immigrants in my family, growing up in poor neighborhoods, I would say I have a more empathetic perspective of the issues. However, I went to Brigham Young University, [and there are] less minorities of my race there. And having been around those different people, I feel like I've kind of changed my perspective of how to actually solve issues. I truly think that both parties can’t solve any of the issues.

How are you deciding who to vote for this November?

I am trying to keep an Excel [spreadsheet] where I can track where every person is at and where I stand with them. I have a list of the different policies that would mean something to me. And if that person's policies align with my policies, I [highlight it] green. If it doesn't at all, it’s red. If it's kind of in the middle, I put it as a yellow.

What policies matter the most to you?

I think abortion is going to be one thing. Immigration is going to be another thing. Other than that, most of the other policies I'm not gonna look too much [at] because I know just because someone has a different policy [position] than me doesn't mean that policy is going to get passed.

I'm going to look more at their track record, how they got to where they got, if there's any scandals or something that shows a flawed character.

I don't know much about [former Vice President] Joe Biden. I wouldn't say I was for or against the [Barack] Obama presidency. But I really want to look more into what his track record is.

So far with the things [President Donald] Trump has said in terms of policies, I feel like he's been really flip floppy. He's gone back and forth with a lot of things. And in terms of character and the things he’s said, I definitely don't think that’s a person who has high morals.

Sonja Hutson is a politics and government reporter at KUER.
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