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Fight over Count My Vote may not be over yet

Published: Monday, May 12 2014 4:48 p.m. MDT

Bramble said permitting electronic signatures may be a tough sell to lawmakers. But the state senator said even though there may be attempts next session to repeal the law, the compromise should remain intact.

"It would be very difficult for the Legislature to undo that," Bramble said. "I don't see that changing."

Mark Hedengren, who unsuccessfully challenged Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, for the GOP nomination at the state convention, said he supports the compromise.

Hedengren said to successfully court the party delegates elected at neighborhood caucuses, he would have had to invest several years of effort. Add that to the cost of participating in party activities, and it's cheaper to gather signatures, he said.

Under the caucus and convention system, Hedengren said, it would take "a miracle" for a challenger to push an incumbent into a primary. Then, he said, that candidate would face the additional costs of another election.

"Primaries make a party strong," said Hedengren, the owner of an equipment rental business. "We need to go through that process to make sure we've got the right person for the job."

Hedengren declined to speculate on what the party may do about the new law.

"I guess that's a constitutional law thing that I'm not going to make a comment on," he said.

Another Republican, Jewel Allen, recently wrote an op-ed for the Deseret News describing her change of heart about the caucus system after serving as a county delegate.

Allen said the resolution passed at the state GOP convention is confusing.

"If it preserves a way for the party to maintain some influence over the process, I'm all for it," she said. "I would support what leadership does if they feel like it benefits the party."

Email: lisa@deseretnews.com

Twitter: DNewsPolitics

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