Friday’s Tribune lamented the fact that Utah was 39th in voter turnout in 2016, then went on to list pieces of legislation being considered in the current session that seek to address the problem. But none of those measures attack the root cause of 2016’s dismal turnout: Utah voters know their votes don’t matter in presidential elections.
If you vote in the majority in Utah, it’s essentially overkill, because everybody knows how Utah will end up. If you vote in the minority, it’s a waste of time because, well, everybody knows how Utah will end up.
There’s new legislation in the Utah House that could bring Utah voters out in droves. It’s National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (HB 193) and it constitutionally reforms the Electoral College, making the direct popular vote the vote that elects the president. Under it, if you vote for president you’re part of the national popular vote and where you vote won’t matter. That you vote will. But do you think lawmakers are going to question long-held mistaken beliefs about the sanctity the current system just to see if they can encourage more Utahns to vote?
Ask them about HB 193 and ask them why they aren’t seriously considering it.
Bunnie Keen, Salt Lake City