By the time you read this, the election will probably be over, with the winners celebrating their victories and the losers licking their wounds and contemplating their next move.
The percentage of Americans who vote in a national election is 60%, while mid-term voting averages at a paltry 40%. Utahans were just a little higher than average in the 2014 mid-term elections, but are expected to break a state record this election cycle. According to a tweet by Senator Todd Weiler, early voting is up 159%.
You may have heard that nationally Utah has the lowest percentage of eligible voters. On the surface this may sound alarming, but don’t let that statement fool you. It’s not because of illegal immigrants or other political or socio-economic reasons. It just an indication that we have more children per capita, who of course are ineligible to vote until they are 18. (You can say anything with statistics).
Across the nation there are over 30 senators and representatives up for re-election, including Utah’s soon-to-be-senior representative, Rob Bishop. We will also be electing a new senator to replace Orrin Hatch, the longest serving senator in Utah’s history. Hatch has served since 1977—an amazing 41 years!
With the approach of the hundredth anniversary of the 19th amendment which brought women the right to vote, our Women in Business Committee is engaging in activities that honor early women suffragists, including Martha Hughes Cannon, whose statue, by issue of last year’s resolution, will be moving to Statuary Hall in Washington, D.C. Hers is one of two statues representing Utah, with Brigham Young being the other. Martha was the first female state senator in US history, beating out her husband and other men for the office.
Such a rich history. So, whether you are male or female, whether you have had the right to vote for a long time or not yet 100 years, make it a habit to educate yourself on the candidates and issues and always use your right AND obligation to vote!