Letter: Representing all voices in Utah will yield better government
(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson speaks at a news conference in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021.
I commend Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson’s powerful speech at her inauguration on Jan. 4.
I support her declaration about needing all voices, but she failed to mention a group that has been unfairly disenfranchised in Utah politics.
It’s a group in which nearly half of Utahns find themselves: non-Republicans. Current Utah politics impedes anyone who is not a Republican from being elected to office in most parts of the state. We have six representatives in Congress, but not one is a Democrat or member of any other non-Republican party.
Although approximately 1/3 of Utah voters are registered Democrats, the Republican legislature has gerrymandered the districts to prevent the Democratic voice at the table. Certain statewide offices are made partisan, even though there is good argument that they shouldn’t be.
An “R” behind someone’s name on the ballot often guarantees a win in a Utah race. Why is the dominant party in Utah so power hungry? Why do Republicans resort to methods that prevent alternative perspectives from being represented?
The Utah Republican party has little interest in true representative government. Perhaps Lt. Gov. Henderson will be able to use her position of power to influence leaders and lawmakers to adopt the philosophy that better representation of all voices will yield better government.