Despite grumbling and constitutional doubts, the Utah Legislature sent a deal to Gov. Gary Herbert that will overhaul the process for choosing candidates for office and bring to an end Count My Vote’s ballot initiative. “I don’t argue that this policy will be better than the caucus-convention process,” said Rep. Dan McCay, R-Riverton. “The vote today is not whether you like one [nominating system] over the other. … Your vote today is ‘do I preserve a history at the same time I grab the future?’ That is this bill.” While the bill, SB54s2, lets parties keep their existing caucus-and-convention system for nominating candidates, it also allows aspiring officeholders who collect enough petition signatures to go straight to the primary ballot. It also imposes certain requirements on state parties, and James Evans, chairman of the Utah Republican Party, has said the party has the right to nominate its candidates as it sees fit. Previously, he said an attorney the party hired recommended they not participate in the negotiations because it could weaken a potential lawsuit.
The measure is the result of a compromise between legislators and leaders of the Count My Vote initiative movement, which collected more than 100,000 of the 102,000 signatures needed to let voters decide whether to supplant the caucus-convention system with direct primaries.
Given the likelihood of Count My Vote getting on the ballot and passing, Sen. Curt Bramble, the sponsor of the measure, had said that it was prudent to negotiate a resolution.
Count My Vote has agreed to abandon its ballot initiative once the governor signs the legislation.
Full Article: Deal on Count My Vote gets OK | The Salt Lake Tribune.