SALT LAKE CITY — After Gov. Gary Herbert signed a bill Monday spelling out a deal between lawmakers and backers of Count My Vote, the group announced an end to the initiative petition drive to change the state's caucus and convention system.

"We are stopping the initiative," said Taylor Morgan, a co-executive director of the organization, following an announcement by the governor's office that he had signed SB54 into law.

Morgan said Count My Vote, which had raised more than $1 million and collected more than 100,000 signatures calling for the state to switch to direct primary elections, said the bill accomplished the goal of increasing voter participation.

The bill preserves the state's unique caucus and convention system that allows delegates to nominate candidates while creating an alternate route to the primary ballot by gathering voter signatures.

"Through passage of SB54 and the governor’s signing, we have achieved the goal we set out to accomplish years ago," Morgan said. "It's important to note the initiative was only a means to an end."

He said Count My Vote will work with the lieutenant governor's office and county clerks to shut down the initiative drive. The organization will use its remaining resources, Morgan said, to promote the new election system.

— Lisa Riley Roche

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