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Race, Religion & Social Justice

Voting Rights Advocates To Hold Salt Lake City March Saturday

An illustration of red and blue colored hands dropping ballots into a box.
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“The people that would be most impacted by some of the current wave of voter suppression legislation are Black and brown communities across our country — and that would be the same here,” said Betty Sawyer with the NAACP’s Ogden branch.

Voting rights advocates are holding a march Saturday in Salt Lake City to demand Utah politicians fight misinformation and support policies that make voting easier.

Voting access in Utah is actually pretty good, according to Darlene McDonald, founder of the 1Utah Project, which organized the march.

She said the state’s universal vote-by-mail and same day registration are something Utah politicians should champion.

“That's something that our state and national Congressional legislators should really talk about and say, ‘What can we do to other states to help lead this way?” McDonald said. “But we didn't. We actually have legislators that went to Arizona to push the fraudulent audit.”

McDonald also criticized Utah’s Republican U.S. House representatives for voting against the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, which would give the federal government more power to oversee state election laws that limit the ability of minority groups to vote.

Betty Sawyer, with the Ogden branch of the NAACP, said she’s worried that Utah could follow in the steps of other Republican states and pass restrictive election laws.

“The people that would be most impacted by some of the current wave of voter suppression legislation are Black and brown communities across our country — and that would be the same here,” she said.

Sawyer also wants to push Utah lawmakers to make election day a state holiday in order to make it easier for people to vote.

The march in Salt Lake City is part of a national day of action to commemorate the anniversary of the March on Washington. The original march in 1963 was protesting racial inequity and featured the famous “I Have A Dream” Speech by Martin Luther King, Jr.

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