SALT LAKE CITY — Celeste Dorantes, an intern with the League of Women Voters of Salt Lake City, is dedicating herself to rallying Utah’s young voices.
“I found that a lot of my friends aren’t registered," she said. "A few weeks ago, I was asking them... 'You guys are registered to vote, right?' And they're like, 'I don't know, I don't think so.'”
Voting is an action that speaks louder than words, said Dorantes.
“I see a lot of people going out and protesting, marching," she said. "I don't just see that many actually voting or doing something on the technical level, and if you have such passionate views, why don't you put them into law?"
With Utah's June 28th primary less than a month away, the League of Women Voters, along with the ACLU and other groups, have been planning this "Protect Democracy & Voting Rights" rally for months.
Saturday was a cultural celebration of Utah's diversity, said Ivoni Masch, the program director for the National Tongan American Society.
"It's really important for people like us to have a voice in a table and to be represented," she said.
Masch came to Utah more than 50 years ago when she was just 17 years old.
“This is my home now," said Masch. "And my parents moved here, my brothers and sisters moved here, and we call Salt Lake City home.”
The National Tongan American Society has been advocating for Salt Lake’s Pacific Islander population for more than two decades, she said.
“I'm so proud and I'm so happy, and it's really, it's a dream come true," she said. "Because when I moved over here, we did not involve anything like this.”
Utah residents can register to vote by going to their county clerk in person, mailing in a paper form, or registering online. The deadline to register to vote for the June primary is Friday, June 17 at 5 p.m. The last day to request a mail-in ballot is June 21, although some polling locations will have same-day registration.
More information on registering to vote can be found at vote.utah.gov.