120 years ago today - Nov 3, 1896

Utah's first state election uses the "Australian ballot" which guarantees confidentiality of a person's vote. Martha Hughes Cannon is elected as a Democratic member of the Utah State Legislature and defeats her own husband who is a Republican candidate. She is the first woman in the United States to serve as a state senator. When a newspaper reporter asks how she, as a "modern woman," can be a plural wife, Cannon replies: "If her husband has four wives, she has three weeks of freedom every single month." [She was forced to flee the Utah territory in 1886 to avoid testifying against her husband and other practitioners of plural marriage.]

[Source: The Mormon Hierarchy - Extensions of Power by D. Michael Quinn, [New Mormon History database (http://bit.ly/NMHdatabase)]]

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