Voter Indifference

September 22, 2021 (City Weekly)

The Utah Foundation just released a report on the stunning strength of citizen participation in public meetings. But then it turned to the curious news of low voter turnout. It says we “surged” to 13th out of the 50 states in the 2020 midterms, but fell to 39th in the presidential election. What gives? We know Utahns get hot and bothered about all kinds of issues, but voting? Meh. That is likely because of the politically monolithic nature of the state. Let’s take citizen participation, though, and the inland port. There has been broad citizen participation, even as the port board plays in the dark. A recent letter from Salt Lake City to “Jack and Jill”—the Port Authority honchos—expressed disdain that no city representatives are taking part in the creation of a Public Infrastructure District bent on issuing $150 million in taxpayer-backed bonds for a transloading facility. The Port Authority doesn’t really like the loud and insistent public participation in this area, but it moves ahead anyway because they can depend on a lack of engagement from voters.

  View Article

Referenced Reports