A House committee has given approval to legislation that would seek to put Utah first in line to hold a presidential primary election and also calls for it to be done online. The House Political Subdivisions Committee approved the bill, H.B. 410, on Tuesday night that would bump off Iowa and New Hampshire as the presidential wine tasters in the nation and move the Beehive state to the prominent spot of having a significant role in presidential primary politics, first. “I believe that our current presidential nominating process is blatantly discriminatory,” said Rep. Jon Cox, R-Ephraim, the sponsor of the legislation. “I believe it creates second class states.” Cox’s bill would only create a mechanism for the primary to be held. Under the bill the Legislature would have the option to decide, at a later date, if it wants go first in the election season but does call for the elections to be held online, a move that cuts the cost of holding the election in half to an estimated $1.6 million.
Utah would receive a penalty from the Republican and Democratic parties for holding its election out of order Cox explained. He was unsure of the penalty from the Democratic party but said the Republican party would slash Utah’s delegates to the party’s nominating convention from 40 to 9. He argued it was worth the price to make Utah a relevant state in presidential primary elections.
Cox also stated this was an opportunity for Utah to innovate how elections are handled by doing them online. He noted the state already accepts 1,500 to 2,000 online ballots each election from members of the military that vote from overseas. He said he believes that system could be expanded to allow all Utahns to participate in the primary.
Full Article: House OKs bill to put Utah primary first, online.