State GOP convention to consider changes to caucus system

Published: Thursday, April 18 2013 7:22 p.m. MDT

Should Utah abandon the caucus-convention system and go straight to a direct primary?

Laura Seitz, Deseret News

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SALT LAKE CITY — Delegates to next month's state GOP convention will consider proposals intended to ward off a threatened initiative petition drive intended to dramatically change the system used to select candidates.

Proposals to raise the vote threshold at a party convention needed to avoid a primary election were filed with the state Republican Party before Thursday's deadline to be on the delegates' agenda.

Organizers of the initiative petition drive, which includes former Gov. Mike Leavitt, have said they would put their plans on hold if the threshold is increased from 60 percent to 70 percent.

One of the proposals filed Thursday would raise the threshold to 70 percent, while the other proposal would boost the threshold to two-thirds of the delegates voting at a nominating convention.

The petition organizers, who want to provide an alternative to the caucus/convention system for candidates to get on a primary ballot, have also said they want the party to increase access to caucus night, where the delegates are selected.

A resolution on the access issue recently approved by members of the GOP's central committee will also be considered at the state Republican convention, set for May 18 at the South Towne Expo Center in Sandy.

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