A proposed constitutional amendment prohibiting infringement on a political party’s right to nominate candidates for public office could be on the November election ballot. Sen. Scott Jenkins, R-Plain City, is sponsoring the measure to counter the Count My Vote initiative to replace Utah’s unique caucus and convention system with direct primaries, which might also be on the ballot this fall. Also, the Senate scheduled a floor debate on SB54 — legislation that would allow parties to avoid direct primaries — for 11 a.m. Thursday. Jenkins sees his resolution, SJR15, as complementary to the bill but also an attempt to thwart the Count My Vote effort. The group must gather more than 100,000 signatures to put its measure before voters in November.
“The fear we have is that if Count My Votes goes through, that will scuttle the political parties’ ability to appoint their own nominees,” he said.
“If someone wants to go start their own political party, a Blue Party or an Orange Party, I don’t have a problem with that. But I hate to have them take the Democratic Party or the Independent Party or the Republican Party and say, ‘You guys can’t put your own candidate on the ballot.’ Well, that’s not fair.”