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Voting Rights, Security, And Participation On Monday's Access Utah


David Leonhardt writes recently in the New York Times that “In the suburbs of Salt Lake City, there is a planned community called Suncrest that has turned out to be a good place to study voter turnout. Suncrest feels like one community, full of modern, single-family houses. But it straddles two different counties — Salt Lake and Utah. And in 2016, the two used different voting systems.

“Salt Lake County switched to mail-based voting, which meant that all registered voters would receive a ballot at their home a few weeks before Election Day. They could then mail it back or drop it off at a county office. In Utah County, by contrast, residents still voted the old-fashioned way. They had to visit their local polling place, Ridgeline Elementary School, on Election Day.

It was a natural experiment — with impressive results. Turnout in the Salt Lake County portion of Suncrest rose much more than in the Utah County portion. The convenience of voting by mail led more people to do so.”

We’ll talk about that most important duty and right in a democracy: voting. We’ll examine who votes and why; attempts at voter suppression and voter encouragement; and election security.



Our guests include: Amber McReynolds, Director of Elections for the City and County of Denver and a member of the National Vote at Home Institute board; and Amelia Showalter, Co-Founder and CEO of Pantheon Analytics, and Director of Digital Analytics for President Obama’s re-election campaign.


Tom Williams worked as a part-time UPR announcer for a few years and joined Utah Public Radio full-time in 1996. He is a proud graduate of Uintah High School in Vernal and Utah State University (B. A. in Liberal Arts and Master of Business Administration.) He grew up in a family that regularly discussed everything from opera to religion to politics. He is interested in just about everything and loves to engage people in conversation, so you could say he has found the perfect job as host “Access Utah.” He and his wife Becky, live in Logan.