Sen. Curt Bramble, R-Provo, wants to make a drastic change to how legislative vacancies are filled, taking power away from party delegates and giving it to voters. Currently, when a legislator steps down from office, their replacement is determined by a vote of party delegates from their district. Most recently, Sen. Margaret Dayton, R-Orem, retired and Republican delegates in her district chose Rep. Keith Grover, R-Provo, as her replacement. Once Grover’s appointment is approved by Gov. Gary Herbert, GOP delegates in his former House district will then get to pick his replacement. Bramble argues it’s time to scrap that replacement method in favor of a special election.
“Why should less than 100 delegates have the authority to choose for tens of thousands of citizens without an election?” said Bramble.
Bramble says he concluded that it’s time to fill those vacancies with a special election because of arguments from the Utah GOP against Utah’s dual-track ballot access system.
“I’ve re-read the filings from the GOP (in their lawsuits against SB54). In every case they argue they are a private organization,” says Bramble. “By what right does the party claim ownership of a legislative seat? The people own the ballot, not the party.”