I voted today

>> Tuesday, November 3, 2009

And, for the first time ever, I voted at the polls. Ten plus years of voting by mail and had to vote in person today. I'm pretty sure I registered for absent ballot last year, but oh well. There was a whopping two items to vote on, both for city council positions.

But yesterday I was talking to my dad about voting in Utah. I thought that early voting would be available on Monday. Nope. Why not I don't really understand. But Utah now requires identification in addition to your voter registration card at the polls. Whatever makes it more difficult to vote in this state you know.

Recent Utah laws, however, have made registration more difficult. The legislature ended satellite registration, which allowed citizens to register in their own neighborhoods a week before an election. Mail-in registration must now be completed 30 days before an election, instead of the previous 20 days. Voters can still register in person up to 15 days before an election, but only in the county clerk's office. Each change raises the barrier to the polls just a little higher. An additional hurdle to voting might trip other voters this year. A new law, enacted in May, requires that voters bring proof of identity to the polls, such as a driver's license, a concealed weapon's permit or a passport. The list of approved documents is available on the lieutenant governor's Web site.
So of course Utah has low voter turnouts.
According to the most recent U.S. census, Utah had the lowest voter turnout in the nation in the 2006 elections, and at 36.7 percent, that number is more than double those expected to report to the polls on Election Day 2009.
And according to the Census Bureau, Utah tied with Hawaii for the lowest voter turnout in 2008. Minnesota, the state with the highest voting rate (75 percent in 2008) allows registration on the day of the election. But since that encourages many people to vote, Utah would never allow it.

It just keeps things easier for the Mormons and the Republican Party to keep a hold on the state. It's the same reason why they gerrymandered the boundary lines of Utah's 2nd congressional district.
There's no reason why Utah's 1st and 3rd congressional districts should contain portions of Salt Lake County. The only reason Utah divided the districts in such a fashion was to try and get rid of Jim Matheson after the 2000 Census.

Of course, these bizarro boundaries have created some problems for selecting local offices in Utah for the 2010 Census. The main office for Utah, which is in Salt Lake City, is actually not in the 2nd district boundary lines because of the gerrymandering.

Utah will definitely be getting another congressional district after the 2010 Census. Hopefully the fucktards in the state legislature will have the sense to draw decent boundary lines this time. Not that I'm holding my breath...

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