Division of Archives and Records Service

It’s Election Day

Rae Gifford
November 6, 2018

Did you vote today? Have you voted in the past? Utah has a long voting history at both the national and local level. In the fall of 1896, Utahns voted in their first national election as a state. Men and women turned out to vote in large numbers with one desire: they wanted their voice to be heard at the national level. The new state constitution guaranteed that women had the right to vote and they made sure to participate in the election. (Elections in the State of Utah By Allan Kent Powell)

Full text of the proclamation can be found on the digital Archives:

Governor (1850-1857: Young), Special election proclamation, Series 12353, Box 1 Folder 1, Utah State Archives & Records Service

Yet, 1896 wasn’t the first time Utahns participated in the vote. This 1853 proclamation from Governor Brigham Young calls for a special election to replace Orson Hyde, who had resigned as the “Councillor to the Legislative Assembly”:

We are excited to have added a transcription of the entire document this week, so everyone can read it.

The key phrase that sticks out for me is that the polling will take place at “the usual Places of holding Elections in great Salt Lake County.” One can’t have a “usual place,” unless there have been enough elections held in the same place so it becomes the “usual place.”

Did you turn out to the usual place today?

Or send/drop off your ballot leading up to this election?

More information on national elections in Utah can be found is Allan Kent Powell’s great article for the Utah History Encyclopedia.