A new staff position and statewide campaign underscore our commitment to voting rights in Utah.
Last summer, the ACLU of Utah staff gathered for an all-day retreat to select our top goal for the coming two years. After considering the many civil rights and individual freedoms currently under threat, a clear leader emerged: the protection and promotion of voting rights.
By adopting this goal, we aim to build on our recent victories in voting rights, including the passage of legislation in 2018—after a decade of trying—that made Election Day Registration (EDR) permanent and statewide. During the November 2018 midterms, the first major election where all Utahns could register to vote and cast a ballot on Election Day, more than 34,000 people were added to the voter rolls using this common sense approach to expand access to the ballot box. The best part: These new voters are already registered for the next election.
Our advocacy also includes collaborating with Lt. Governor Spencer Cox and the State Elections Office to reduce obstacles to voting and overcome barriers that arise. After we fielded a dozen voting complaints during the most recent election, we were fortunate to have the effective cooperation of the Elections Office staff to resolve each problem and to develop new policies to prevent their reoccurrence.
Lastly, our goal of improved voting rights in Utah is about to take a bold step forward.
This summer we will hire a full-time Voting Rights Coordinator—supported by a special grant—to create and implement a statewide Voting Rights Campaign to inform Utahns about their voting options and ensure the 2020 election is free from interference. This campaign includes continuing our election monitoring in San Juan County (see “Voting for a Change,” page 4) to ensure that voters on the Navajo Nation are not disenfranchised, as well as empowering voters who may mistakenly believe a prior criminal conviction renders them unable to vote. We will be sharing much more information about our Voting Rights Campaign in the months leading up to the 2020 election.
Apply to be our new Voting Rights Coordinator: www.acluutah.org/blog/item/1527
...from the Spring 2019 Liberty Reporter