A few dozen community members and Utah State University students gathered on the steps of the Logan Tabernacle on Friday morning for a voting rights march.
Some people carried signs with quotes from early voting rights activists. Many of the participants wore purple, gold and white — the colors past suffragists used to represent their movement.
“I dressed up kind of as Lady Liberty/Justice, also known as Columbia … to lead the charge because liberty and justice kind of lead us and they are our goddesses,” said Macy Keith, who wore a Greek-inspired costume to lead the march.
This voting rights march was part of the annual Bennion Teachers’ Workshop at Utah State University. The theme this year was “Forward Out of Darkness: Gender, Media, and Suffrage in the United States.”
“This was a wonderful culmination of the week of the Bennion Teachers’ Workshop. It pulled together everything that we have been talking about and working on during the week,” said Cathy Ferrand Bullock, one of the USU professors who organized the workshop this year.
As part of the workshop, the students drafted a modern Declaration of Sentiments on voting rights, similar to the one shared during the first women’s rights convention at Seneca Falls in 1848.
Their declaration focused on voting issues related to privacy and accessibility, including eliminating closed primaries, keeping voter records private and instituting a 24-hour on-site polling period.
During a short program after the march, workshop participants read their declaration and invited local elected officials to speak and sign the declaration.
“As I read through this declaration, there are so many points that are absolutely wonderful and I completely agree with,” said Logan Mayor Holly Daines.
There were two resolutions in the declaration Daines said she did not agree with: the 24-polling location and transportation for voting. Daines said she believes these issues are resolved through by-mail voting, and because of that she did not sign the declaration.
County Council members Gina Worthen and Barbra Tidwell were also in attendance. While both of them expressed support for some of the issues, they also chose not to sign the document.
“I am a very strong Republican and I believe that people have the right to assemble in parties and for that party to choose their standard bearer, and for that reason, I don’t believe in having open primaries,” Worthen said.
When it comes to voting, Daines said she is concerned that a decline in the readership of local newspapers may lead to less-informed voters. She said events like the march give her hope.
“That is one concern I have with younger people coming up is do they take the time to do the research?” Daines said. “So when I see people passionate and caring and involved that is a really good thing.”