SALT LAKE CITY — Count My Vote leaders delivered a letter to the lieutenant governor's office Tuesday officially withdrawing their ballot initiative for direct primary elections.

Backers of the initiative agreed to drop their petition drive after the Legislature passed a bill creating an alternative path to the primary ballot outside Utah's unique caucus and convention system for choosing candidates for public office.

Under SB54, the system will stay in place but allow candidates to get on the ballot by gathering a requisite number of signatures for the office sought. It also lets unaffiliated voters participate in Republican primaries, which were open only to registered party members.

Gov. Gary Herbert signed the bill last week.

The first direct primary elections in Utah will be June 2016.


Twitter: dennisromboy