Sen. Curt Bramble calls the “Count My Vote” initiative a “gun to the head” of Utah’s political parties. If the CMV initiative gets on the ballot and passes in November, it would do away with the state’s caucus and convention system for nominating candidates in favor of a direct primary. Bramble says CMV backers and Utah’s political parties were unable to find a middle ground, so that’s why he’s sponsoring SB 54, which is a compromise between the two positions – and would essentially make the “Count My Vote” initiative a moot point. “The best kind of political compromise is where both sides can claim victory,” Bramble told a packed Senate committee hearing room on Friday morning. “I crafted this bill so that both sides don’t get what they want. Under the legislation, ‘Count My Vote’ gets what they were asking for from the parties, while the parties get to keep the caucus system if they meet certain criteria.”
“Count My Vote” organizers asked the political parties to make a number of changes to the caucus system – including raising the threshold for a candidate to win the nomination at convention and allowing for people who are unable to attend the caucus meetings to still cast votes. The parties roundly rejected that request, so the initiative process moved forward.
Bramble’s bill puts those requirements on the political parties. If they fail to implement them, then the default position is an open primary for candidates. Sen. Todd Weiler says he agrees the state needs to help find a common ground between those who want to ditch the caucuses and those who want to keep them.
“I don’t know how many signatures ‘Count My Vote’ has yet, but I’m guessing it’s tens of thousands. That tells me lots of people think the status quo is problematic.”
Full Article: Bill to Head Off ‘Count My Vote’ Moves Out of Committee.