Tuesday is election day. All elections are important, but some are more significant than others. In 1895, voters were deciding whether to approve the new Constitution, an important step in the process of becoming a state.
In an article published in the 1995 edition of Beehive History, Jean Bickmore White describes the issues surrounding the 1895 Utah election. Voters were also choosing who would fill the elected offices created by the new Constitution, including governor, secretary of state, attorney general, supreme court justices, Congressional delegates and members of the state legislature.
Although the Constitution was approved by a wide margin, many eligible voters did not vote - an estimated one in six. Nearly one in five who did vote voted against it.
Women were not allowed to participate in the election. A district court judge granted Sarah E. Anderson a writ of mandate requiring the registrar of voters to register her as a voter for the upcoming election, finding that the new Constitution would provide women the right of suffrage. The Utah Territorial Supreme Court overturned the trial court decision, limiting the vote to males citizens over 21 who had lived in the territory over a year.
Don't take your right to vote for granted - have your say on Tuesday!
----------------------Jean Bickmore White, November 5, 1895 - The Most Important Election Day in Utah History, 21 Beehive History 3 (1995)
Women Can Vote, Deseret Weekly 4 (Aug. 17, 1895)
Women May Not Vote, Deseret Weekly 13 (Sept. 7, 1895)
Anderson v. Tyree, 12 Utah 139 (1895)
Image source: Utah State Archives