Published: Sunday, Sept. 15 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT
I’m not sure if they have half-a-million or a million-and-a-half it will
matter, people are still going to want fair elections. They’re still going
to want the ability to have incumbents replaced. They’re still going to
want people not to have to be rich or famous to get elected.There
were about 120,000 republicans in Utah that went to the neighborhood caucus
elections in 2012 to elect the 4000 State Delegates. That doesn't include
tens of thousands county delegates, plus the thousands of democratic delegates.
Who gets to pick the people that show up on the ballot? It is the
voters through the caucus system. The candidates get to decide if they are going
to run and each of us vote to have them vetted. We put the best ones we have
that volunteered to run on the ballot. One of the reasons we get involved in the
caucus system is to have a say as to who is on the ballot.If we
didn't have the system we have, it would be the power brokers that would
get to decide.
We have a system that that does NOT favor the incumbent, the wealthy or the
famous. This is a good thing, and should be preserved.The
Neighborhood Election and Convention system in Utah is the best way to make sure
a grassroots process can win over large amounts of money. It is the only way
someone with $100,000 can go against someone with $2 million in election
funds.We want neighbors discussing the best candidates and finding
ways to improve this state and the nation. If the system is changed, we would be
dropping off votes, but not meeting and discussing candidates and issues. That
is what is wrong with Washington, D.C. They don’t listen to each other in
a meeting. They watch from their offices. We need to change that, not perpetuate
We already have a "bypass" system, filing as an unaffiliated candidate.
A candidate can go straight to the general election ballot. Someone who
doesn't think they can win if vetted by average citizens asking one on one
questions can still run and spend their money. Why should they be a political
party nominee if they are going to bypass their political party?At
only one time for 10 years in Utah’s history did the state depart from the
Neighborhood Election, Caucus and Convention System. In 1937, a powerful
democratic state senator convinced enough of the legislature to switch to an
open primary. He had had two losses, a US Senate race and also for governor,
because the majority of the convention delegates disagreed with his legislative
voting record. But he was well known and had money.Many at the time
felt like an open primary was his ticket to the governorship, and he did win.
But the change in the system only lasted for a decade. After public and media
disillusionment, and even worse voter turnout, Utah restored the Caucus and
Convention System. Why go back?
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