In recent surveys, the vast majority of Utah citizens have favored a change; they would prefer a direct primary election system over the current caucus/convention system. The Legislature, predictably, seems to favor maintaining the current system.
Concerned citizens have formed a nonpartisan group, Count My Vote Utah, which is currently collecting signatures on a citizen initiative petition. If sufficient signatures are obtained, the issue will to be put to a vote of the people, all Utah voters, on next November’s general election ballot.
The Legislature has countered by proposing SB54 and SJR15. As I read it, and I have, SB54 would allow political parties to continue to use the caucus/convention system if “the parties” [not the general populace or the party members at large] so choose. SJR15 is even more of an affront to me. It would amend the Utah Constitution to preclude the people of Utah from telling Utah political parties how they may choose candidates.
Who should control the political process, the people or the political party organizations? I recently spent a year in China where the Communist Party reigns supreme. I was so glad to be back home in the USA where the people reign supreme. Or do we? Not in Utah, if the Legislature has its way.
I encourage all Utah voters to let the Legislature know who the people believe should control the political process in Utah by signing the Count My Vote Utah initiative petition.
Harry Gene Puckett
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