Few Utahns are Engaged in the Legislative Process

November 21, 2013  |  Posted in:  |  No comments

During legislative meetings at the Utah Capitol it is not uncommon to regularly see the same people in attendance—staff, government employees, and lobbyists. Citizens are in the minority. In a desire to better understand the degree to which citizens have engaged in the legislative process, Libertas Institute conducted a brief survey earlier this week.

We randomly surveyed 500 Utah voters on November 18, 2013 via an automated phone system. Sampled voters were contacted and administered a questionnaire. Half of respondents were contacted on their mobile phone, half on a landline. The margin of sampling error is ±4.38%.

1. Have you spoken with your state Senator or state Representative in the past year?

Here is the breakdown by political affiliation:

Here is the breakdown by age group:

2. Have you ever been to the Utah Capitol to attend a committee meeting or watch the floor debate?

Here is the breakdown by political affiliation:

Here is the breakdown by age group:


We are skeptical of the results, concluding as we did in our poll regarding primary participation that “the results presented here indicate that polls are not as accurate an indicator of activity as they are opinion. People are comfortable sharing what they believe, but when asked if they performed an action (especially one that most people feel some obligation to do) many may choose to lie.”

That said, even concluding the data is accurate provides a disappointing picture of citizen engagement. We will be announcing a program in a few weeks to attempt to address this issue and encourage more involvement in the legislative process.

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