Women in Utah need to get the vote out, says advocate

Nov 2, 2021, 4:18 PM | Updated: Nov 8, 2022, 11:38 am
Utah women vote...
FILE: A replica of the statue honoring Martha Hughes Cannon. Credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah has led the nation in voting rights for women, but their participation at the polls has fallen recently. Each female voter in the state needs to know their individual vote matters, said a Utah advocate for women.

The historic disparities are unavoidable:

  • First in the nation to vote (in 1870), Utah women voted in municipal elections and a general election.
  • On Nov. 3, 1896, Utahn Martha Hughes Cannon became the first female state senator elected in the United States, defeating her own husband who was also on the ballot.
  • With a 66.6% female voter turnout, Utah slipped to 33rd among states in 2020 for the percentage of eligible women who voted.

Robbyn Scribner of the Utah Women & Leadership Project joined KSL NewsRadio’s Dave Noriega to talk about why female voter turnout in Utah has recently declined.

“In 2006, we were dead last in the nation in terms of (women in Utah) voting. And so we’ve been slowly making progress, but we’re still behind the national average significantly. … in the bottom half of all the states in terms of women voting,” Scribner said.

“What leads to that?” Dave asked, “. . . have you been able to figure out what has caused women to disengage with voting?”

No one knows for sure, she said, but researchers and scholars hypothesize that the state’s one-party sway may reduce overall voter turnout.

One vote can make a difference

She also said Utah women are busy and may not appreciate that a single vote can have a real impact.

“That’s one of the things we can work on — get the word out to help people understand that in so many of these races, every single vote counts, and it’s important for all of us to get out there and do our part,” Scribner said.

In 2018, female voter turnout in Utah was “sky high” because of both races and issues that were important to women.

“We went all the way up to number 11th in the nation [in female voter participation],” Scribner said.

Men and women care about different issues and policies

“Women tend to care about social issues, like homelessness and education and health care,” she said.

If women don’t turn out to vote, those types of issues will not be prioritized, Scribner said.

Related: Rate of voting for Utah women down, but civic engagement remains high

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play. 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Dave & Dujanovic

Spanish Fork High School in Spanish Fork is pictured on Friday March 12, 2021. Students at Spanish ...
Mark Jones

Concurrent enrollment provides students with options in Nebo School District

Programs such as concurrent enrollment can give high school students and their parents options.
3 days ago
artificial intelligence banjo...
Curt Gresseth

ChatGPT: Plagiarism super-tool for students or AI brainstorming generator?

Will the future of AI be the interactive chatbot ChatGPT helping cheaters ace exams and tests or a new tool to assist all students in learning?
3 days ago
Elizabeth Weiler

UTA board looks at FrontRunner expansion in Utah County

Utah County is the fastest growing county in the state so UTA is considering a number of expansions to their current FrontRunner and bus lines. 
3 days ago
Curt Gresseth

Banks to launch app to compete with Apple Pay and Venmo

Banks are launching a new app for online money transfers that customers can trust to protect their finances.
4 days ago
hov lane is pictured, new law would let pregnant people use hov lane alone...
Samantha Herrera

Proposed law would allow pregnant people to use HOV lane

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Stephanie Gricius, R-Salt Lake City, would allow a pregnant person to use HOV lanes on their own.
5 days ago
mass shooter...
Curt Gresseth

Mass shooter’s age – 72 – makes California massacre harder to unravel

A mass shooter, 72, killed 11 people and injured nine in California on Saturday night before killing himself. A former US Attorney for the District of Utah dissects the massacre.
6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Women in Utah need to get the vote out, says advocate