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Published: Sunday, April 1 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

What a bunch of nonsense!

The letter writer KNEW how the process works. He KNEW that he would be voting for delegates who would question the candidates throughly before the nominating convention. He KNEW that he lives in a democratic republic where we elect representatives who REPRESENT us. Yet, even with that knowledge, he wanted to throw the system out.

Why not have 300,000,000 members of Congress? Why not require each citizen to sign off each piece of legislation? Why not just throw everything that has worked in America out the window?

How about being a decent citizen and doing your duty to elect good and reliable delegates? How about spending some time helping those who were elected find the BEST candidate to represent you in each of the elected office - or were you just another Hatch shill who knew that giving the delegates a few weeks to throughly question the candidates would leave Hatch out of the running?

Curmudgeon
Salt Lake City, UT

Amen, Brother. At my caucus, the delegate was selected on the sole criterion of whether he/she supported Orrin Hatch for the Senate. No candidates for other offices were even mentioned, nor were any issues discussed, so we had no idea how the candidates would vote on other matters. The initial vote was a tie, and instead of flipping a coin, a revote was taken, and the result was a win for Hatch (not surprising, since the vote counters--who selected them, anyway?--were, respectively, a vocal Hatch supporter and the son of the candidate who supported Hatch). I thought the whole thing was a sham, because practically half of the caucus voters were effectively denied a voice at the Republican convention.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "Marlon Bates" how is what you did at the caucus meeting any different than what you do when you elect your local representative? Your job at the caucus meeting wasn't to have a primary election, it was to select people who would represent your area.

If you wanted vote for the candidate that you liked, you should have tried harder to convince people that you would represent them.

ugottabkidn
Sandy, UT

How does Mr Richards get to use capitals and anyone else that tries it gets bumped? Where in the "constitution" does it say that his OPINION is more valuable to society than the letter writer? Where in the Constitution does it say we need to elect representatives to represent us to elect other representatives to represent us to elect other representatives to represent us? Since the State is a microcosm of the United States with all the shenanigans we should maximize the franchised's voices. Oops I disagreed so now I wait for the dress down.

owlmaster2
Kaysville, UT

@ Marlon Bates, I totally agree with you! Our system is antiquated.

I've always wondered why an Independent or Democrat is denied the right to vote in a primary of Republican candidates. Why are my rights suppressed by Republicans? Independents and Republicans can vote for Democrat candidates in a Democrat primary. What are Republicans afraid of???
I'm a Veteran and I can't vote...... why is that????

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

What is the purpose of the caucusus? It is to provide a way for each PARTY to select candidates for their PARTY.

Should a Democrat be allowed to select a candidate to run as a Republican? Why? What principle would allow someone of the opposite party to select candidates for MY party? Should I, as a registered Republican, have the right to tell the Democrat Party which candidates it should run against the Republicans? What would give me that right? Would I have to become a Democrat? Would I have to embrace the Democrat platform? Would I have to abandon my principles as a Republican in order to help the Democrats promote their principles to select which candidates they wanted to represent their PARTY?

Democrats are welcome to attend the Republican caucus; but, unless they register as Republicans, they cannot speak nor can they vote.

I, as a Republican, might attend a Democrat caucus; but, out of decency, I would not try to tell them which candidates to put to represent THEIR party.

Gildas
LOGAN, UT

Yes ("Curmudgeon") who are these vote counters? I saw enough in the Maine election to know I cannot trust the GOP to count votes in a timely manner and even to include all precincts in the final tally.

Votes imho should be counted in plain sight with the whole audience watching. Each ballot should be perused one at a time, immediately read aloud, and then passed to another person of another opinion for confirmation. Perhaps those counting the votes should be randomly selected or chosen deliberately for differing and dissenting opinions. There should be maybe ten of them, maybe none from the local party organization. People who find counting mentally challenging should be excluded.

VST
Bountiful, UT

To Mr. Bates of Centerville,

If you want eliminate the caucus process, this is what YOU will need to do:

Instigate action through the State Legislature to have the law [Utah Code 20A-8-401 (2) (c)] changed. This law grants directly to each respective political party the legal right to define the method (rules) by which their nominees are chosen to be placed on the General Election Ballot for consideration by ALL voters. If you think this law is unconstitutional, then file a claim in the state or federal courts making your case to have the law overturned.

You will not change the current caucus system by griping about it by 'letters to the editor.' You need to take action. But good luck with that one if you choose to do so.

VST
Bountiful, UT

@owlmaster2,

You seem to be misinformed when you imply the Republican Primary ballot needs to be full and open to ALL voters as part of the process used by the Republican Party to choose their nominees to appear on the General Election Ballot. In your opinion, to do so otherwise, is not democratic and is unfair and that you are being denied your legal and constitutional rights to vote on a Republican Primary ballot.

That is a misconception on your part. In Utah, only members of any specific political party have the full legal and constitutional right to make the rules regarding HOW that party's respective nominees are chosen to appear on the General Election ballot for consideration by ALL registered voters [see Utah Code 20A-8-401 (2) (c)]. Per this law, it is the rule of the Republican Party that only registered party members are allowed to choose the party's nominees for the General Election ballot.

If you do not agree with my point, then please see my comment to Mr. Bates as posted above.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "owlmaster2" I don't think you understand the caucus system. Each party chooses their own candidates. If you want to vote for a democrat candidate in the caucuses, then register as a democrat. If you don't like any of the parties out there, you can form your own party.

Think of it this way, you wouldn't want a rival club voting for your club's president would you? Do Unions allow non-union members to vote for their representatives? Why should a non-Republican vote in the Republican caucuses?

Jl
Sandy, UT

RedShirt, as of this writing the Democrats of Utah do not require party membership to participate in a caucus. It is only the Republicans that are fearful of an overthrow from the 10% of Utahns that are more practical in viewpoints. Maybe it's you that doesn't understand the caucus system?

J Thompson
SPRINGVILLE, UT

Each Party has the priviledge of making rules about how they will put the names of candidates on the ballot. It is totally absurd for Democrats to tell Republicans how to choose candidates or for Republicans to tell Democrats how to choose candidates.

The caucus system of the Republicans is not an issue in which the Democrats have voice and the caucus system of the Democrats is not an issue in which the Republicans have voice.

Republicans do not need the appoval of any Democrat before they make rules by which they will choose Republican candidates. If Democrats what to participate in the Republican process, they need to abandon their Democrat party platform and become Republicans by registering as Republicans. If they truly believe in the Republican values, they are welcome to change. If they think that they can temporarily change their party affiliation to influence the outcome of the selection process, they represent political corruption.

Each Party makes rules by which members of that party choose candidates. Democrats do not have the right to tell Republicans how to make that choice and Republicans do not have the right to tell Democrats how to make that choice.

Winglish
Lehi, UT

Marlon, I totally respect what you are saying. Sadly, you are not one of the chosen few, the proud, or the elite whose voice is worthy of the Republican Party. Only the noblest people get to be delegates. Your vote does not matter in Utah if you are not part of the vocal minority who makes sure that others who disagree get shouted down at the caucus.

PS- I completely agree with you, Mr. Bates. The caucus system needs to go.

Sal
Provo, UT

I hope that Bob Bennett and Kirk Jowers continue their efforts to get rid of the caucus. I've attended three now and resent the waste of my time. Give me a Primary where I can walk in, vote, and be out of there in 10 mintues. Two hours into our caucus and we still hadn't elected any county delegates. I left. Too much time wasted counting votes.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Feeling a little frustrated with the system?
Feeling disenfranchised by it all?
Feel like the voice of the people is shushed, and only the voice of a few gets the say so?

Just a reminder – this “Representative” form of Government “Selected not Elected” GW Bush.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

And to all the paranoid Republicans scared that “others” might select their candidates….

Your argument is moot.
In a primary election, a person MUST declare party affiliation – and as then given ONLY that parties ballot.
A Democrat can no more elect a Republican in a primary election,
than they can nominate one at the Republican Party convention.

Boogieman under the bed rubbish.

@Charles
the greater outdoors, UT

@LDS Lib: once again you show just how wrong you are in your positions regarding the truth. Does the truth not matter to you?

Please back up your claim that Bush was selected and not elected. Thank you.

Also, could you please explain logically and rationally how anyone not affiliated with an organization should have a vote in who runs that organization? Again, thank you for logically and rationally answering those questions.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Marlon,
You obviously don't understand the system you have. You still get to vote (EVERY CITIZEN GETS TO VOTE)... but don't try to confuse party caucuses with the general election. They're not the same thing. They aren't intended to be the same thing.

You will get your vote... in the primary and the general elections. Caucuses are NOT ELECTIONS.

If the candidate YOU wanted doesn't get nominated by your party (Democrat or Republican)... They can still run, and you can still vote for them. They can run a campaign on their own, or you can just write them in.

But I doubt a candidate that can't even get enough grassp-rotes support to get even enough delegates for the convention to even force a party-primary (he only has to be close to get a primary runoff).... will suddenly get enough support/votes to win the election when everybody gets to vote.

homebrew
South Jordan, UT

The caucus system is a JOKE!! Surpise!! One person One Vote. Thats why we need to scrap the system and have a primary election. If this was in place, Bob Bennett would still be a senator, and Mike Lee would still be in the circus.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Sal,
And WHO decides who will be on the pre-primary ballot you want to replace the caucuses with???

The purpose of the caucus is to decide who will meet in the party's primary election!

If the candidate for an office is running unopposed... no primary is needed. But if more than one candidate wants to run for that office THERE WILL BE A PRIMARY... and you WILL GET TO VOTE!

I don't know where these false presumptions come from. And from a person who attended his caucus to be so ill informed... just amazes me.

The purpose of the caucus is to assign delegates who will help narrow the field (if there is more than one person who wants that office) at the state or the county convention. The PRIMARY election comes LATER (if needed).

So many people posting here don't even know what pre-convention caucuses are for or how they work. It's not the PRIMARY election... that comes LATER. This is just to pick who will MEET in the Primary.

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