Monday, December 15, 2008

Mock the (Utah) Vote

[2008 Election] Apparently, so many Utahns this past fall were busy contributing cash and time at phone banks to killing same-sex marriage in the whole other state of California, they forgot to vote!

Or maybe they just didn't care care.**

Or maybe they figured Barack Obama had it in the bag, which it turned out, he did. Even in parts of Utah (Salt Lake and Grand counties to be exact).

[Insert obligatory nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah to right wingers in Utah here.)

Here is how much our electorate in this state sucks (taken from George Washington University data): We have 1.77 million eligible voters and only 952,370 of them voted. In 2004, when Utah voters rallied for George W. Bush, only 58.9 percent of us voted.

We are 47th in the nation for 2008 voter participation. West Virginia and Hawaii tied for dead last, with 50.6 percent turnout. Then Arkansas at 53.4 percent, followed by the nearly equally ignorant and unengaged masses in the Beehive State with 53.8 percent.

Note that this is the state of the oft-cited Mormon majority, where LDS church leaders urge members from cradle to grave that voting is a crucial civic and moral obligation. Guess they were sleeping during that particular talk in sacrament meeting. (Except, as noted, when it comes to sending millions of dollars to the Prop 8 forces in California.)

Mad props to patriotic Minnesota, my home from 1988-94, which took first place in voting turnout with more than 77 percent. (Holly Mullen)

**U.S. State Department photo above, depicts Afghan women who, unlike slobs in Utah, are willing to stand in line for hours to vote.


  1. Holly,
    (that piece of Liberal Heaven,
    otherwise known as Minnesota)
    Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out.

  2. So because you don't like the voter turnout percentage you label all Utahans as Slobs???

    You just lost another reader.

  3. Without voting percentages by religion, your argument makes no sense.

  4. Were Mormons at fault for low turnout in Arkansas, West Virginia and Hawaii (Obama's home state- he must not impress the home folks much)?
    Your insightful analysis speaks more to your ignorance and bigotry than Utah voting habits.

  5. So Mormons are sucking slobs because they don't participate in Utah to your satisfaction and hateful bigots because they participate in California too much?
    Please tell us how we can earn your grace!
    We really want to know.

  6. Amen!!! Sorry Holly, does that offend you too???

  7. to all the thin-skinned people who posted here, why don't you think about the issue at hand, which is why Utah should have such an horribly low voter turnout? We're always bragging about our well-educated population and our high literacy rate. Usually the two things--education and voting--go hand in hand.

    Holly Mullen's blog is obviously meant to pull your chains, and it worked. But think about it, instead of getting all worked up about her poke at Mormons, why don't you address why people in Utah didn't vote?

  8. A lot of people in this valley have the additude,it dosen't do any good to vote in Utah. Hopefully the last election results will help change that.

  9. Exactly, anonymous 1:54. This last election should change our abysmal voting numbers. I've lived in Utah all but 14 years of my life and I've voted here many times. I hardly ever vote for a winner in Utah (except in SLC mayor races!!). Still, I can't imagine that sad record keeping me from voting. Guess I'm just a ridiculous optimist.

  10. Utah's past was solid Blue. Was religion responsible for that too???

    To Reader: The complaint was for the unsupported link to religion (any religion) and the labeling and indiscriminant name calling. Yes, she called you a slob too.

  11. to 'reader' (wow, why didn't I ever think of that? Call myself 'reader' instead of 'anonymous'. Then I won't be lumped in with the dozens of CYBERSTALKERS following Brandon around- but I digress)

    It would be nice to get a call to civic duty without having it crossdressed as Mormon-hate. It seems to some people all vices and ills in Utah are to be blamed on Mormonism and that gets REALLY REALLY old, for readers of any or no particular faith. Would love to see a problem discussed without having it framed in terms of how bad Mormons are. Yes, I know I dream, but still...

  12. Utah was a blue state up until, after the great depression. It was beneficial to build the state at that time in history. I think the Mormons get a great deal of flack, and will continue to, because they have voted in blocks since the religion was formed. If anything I would like to see Utah move away from the majority vote takes all. The donors who gave to proposition 8 are most likely the very same people who get out and vote.

    There is an article in the Deseret News today:

    Zions Bank boasts legislative power

    You will have a hard time convincing me..... not to vote or speak out.

  13. I love how anything at City Weekly becomes about Mormons. Awesome.

    Here are some fun considerations of these numbers you are quoting:

    I know you thought the young people put Obama over the top, but they didn't turn out at statistically significant higher rates. So, not only do you owe me a beer, but the average age in Utah is approximately 27. We have a massive number of Utahns between birth and 18 (which the model accounts for), but we also have a huge population between 18-34, the least likely to vote among all categories. This pushes our number down.

    Add in the McCain factor, the lack of ANY competitive statewide races (or even congressional races), and you have your reason for low voter turnout.

    But this isn't really about the reasons for low voter turnout: It's another opportunity for you to take a shot at Mormons over Prop 8.

    I feel a little like Stewie on Family Guy. With all the crying from the gay community, I sometimes want to say what Stewie does to Meg:

    "Yes, mmmmm... Have a good cry now. MMMM....your tears sustain me!"

  14. Take all the shots at Mormons that you can Holly - they deserve it. They need to be publicly scorn for their biggoted stances.

    Utah lacks a critical voice towards them and it's about time they get the fingers pointed at them so everyone can see what the fucking cult is all about!!

  15. Brilliant, 4:46 Anonymous.

    Let's put the word "gays" where you have "Mormons" and see how it works: "Take all the shots at gays that you can Holly - they deserve it."

    Just remarkable writing. How could Prop 8 supporters have lost?

  16. Uh-hem... beg your pardon Anon 4:56. I think the gays have been on that flip side long enough.

    Brilliant, but no go!

  17. Dear Anon 4:34

    Thanks for remembering that column from more than a month ago. I'll buy you a beer. I'm not hard to find, so get in touch and we'll link up.

    I don't care what excuses people put up here or anywhere else for our lousy voter turnout. I love this state and always will--for Utah to be in the same league as West Virginia (they don't even wear shoes there, do they?) and Texas (home of KKK creeps who would drag a black man to his death from the the back of a pickup) in low voter turnout simply appalls me. Whatever the reason for our apathy, it's a shame. But heck, as long as we keep gays from marrying, it doesn't matter!

  18. As an ex Minnesotan and proud progressive queer who's community rivals Seniors in our voting turn out, I'm glad MN got the number 1 spot. My maternal grandmother a devout Mormon in SLC and a FDR huge fan, (she would have voted for him three more terms.) She ALWAYS voted, and ALWAYS Democrat knowing her State would ALWAYS go Republican...I liked her DEFIANCE!

  19. And yet,
    for all their towering civic superiority,
    the good people of Minnesota
    seem stymied by the basic task
    of counting votes
    and declaring a winner.

    And whomever they send to the Senate will not have been the choice of 58% of the voters.

    Sometimes MORE isn't BETTER.

  20. re WVa shoes and Texas KKK
    Holly, I think you forgot a few stereotypes;
    watermelons and welfare queens and...
    oh wait- Only bigotry against Mormons and hillbillies and Southerners are PC.
    Sorry, it's so hard to keep up with who
    we can hate on and who is off limits.
    I guess that's why we need SLCW-

  21. Dear Holly,
    After reading this column, I can see why the Salt Lake Tribune showed you the door.

    Not only did you not show ANY correlation between people's faith and their voting habits but you exposed yourself (once again) as a religious bigot.

    Has it every occurred to you the reason voter turnout is so low is because the Democratic party in Utah SUCKS. They can't even field competitive candidates for most offices. Maybe if the Democratic Party was willing to put up a fight, more people would turn out to vote.

    Maybe instead of directing your vitriol toward Mormons, you should tell the Democratic party to pull their heads out of their asses and start being competitive again.


    A FORMER SL Weekly reader

  22. I liked this article, along with anything that brings the conservative ugliness out into the light instead of hiding it under smiling faces and jello.

  23. re Anon 9:24am

    Bigotry certainly has its fans;
    and practitioners,
    as the post Prop 8 ugliness demonstrated.
    We can all feel sorry for
    petty, small, spiteful twits
    who relish the hate.

  24. Electoral college is a wet blanket on turnout, especially in states that lean predominantly toward one party or the other, such as in Utah. Why vote, when you know year in and year out that it doesn't count? Or, at least that's an understandable sentiment.

  25. I think it is hilarious to see people use the words hatred and bigotry about people simply because they hold a different belief or opinion.

    Oh...tolerance...what exactly does the word mean?

    basically...embrace all manner of deviance.

    I am not a bigot or homophobe. I LAUGH at people when they use that pathetic attempt to try to 'shame' me into coersion. I believe homosexuality is WRONG and I believe it is wrong to redifine marriage to include a single deviant group. We disagree. I dont think that makes YOU a wicked evil disgusting vile person. I even respect your differing opinion and hope and pray for ALL peoples happiness. But I dont believe that is the path to happiness. You disagree? Fine. Your right to do so.

    Oh...and BTW...Why on EARTH dont you rail against the 70% blacks and Hispanics that voted AGAINST gay marriage? Oh...we know why...dont we. Because you ARE after all gutless and spineless. Pick the mormons to bash, despite the fact they make up a very very SMALL percentage of the California voting population. wasnt supposed to be that way was it? Homosexuals were supposed to enjoy the support of all that voted FOR Obama. How shocking to know that MOST minorities find homosexuality abhorent and wrong and resent the hell out of you for trying to tie the gay marriage movement to the black civil rightds movement.


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