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Comments about ‘Letters: Motivated voters’

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Published: Saturday, Oct. 19 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Utah_1
Salt Lake City, UT

Utah's Neighborhood Elections force candidates to pay attention to rural areas of Utah. Direct primaries encourage candidates to ignore rural areas and communicate only by paid advertising. A direct primary would create fly-over areas of Utah that will rarely get to meet their candidates face to face.

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.

Utah_1
Salt Lake City, UT

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?

DVD
Taylorsville, 00

One item I'd like to pick on in this: "Unmotivated voters". With the caucus system, it's possible to exclude many of the 'wrong kinds' of motivated voters simply by shifting the timing of the caucus. Utah is a business-friendly state, which unfortunately can mean that business are not effectively required to allow time off for such things as political participation, and in my experience, will not allow it. This can shut many out of the political process if it's a one-time event. If a caucus leader wants to create timing that shuts more moderate voters of the party out of the process, then scheduling the caucus and closing the doors at a certain time is one way to do it.

Semi-Strong
Louisville, KY

It's not just about "unmotivated" voters. But those who have work or other obligations and cannot spend that amount of time on that particular day.

Sal
Provo, UT

The caucus system disenfranchises thousands of voters who cannot get to the caucus meeting. Thousands of missionaries and military personnel plus thousands of people who work nights are not able to participate.

Also, the Bennett ouster, against the wishes of a majority of Republican voters is evidence that right-wing extremists control the system.

If the caucus system is so wonderful why have the majority of the States abandoned it in favor of an open-primary?

10CC
Bountiful, UT

There have been all kinds of justifications put forth to keep the caucus system, but I think this one is a good example of the arrogance that permeates the echo chamber of Utah's rightwing club.

Essentially, "we deserve more power than you because we organize early and educate each other on the issues, as we see them. The rest of you are lazy and uninformed, or even worse, misinformed by the 'lame stream media', manifested by the fact you don't see things like we do".

This echo chamber is what brought Utah Mike Lee, who most Americans would view as a reckless buffoon, but tea partiers probably view as a great hero, a source of pride. "Remember the shutdown!" will be the rallying cry, but to everyone else this kamikaze mission was an embarrassment, a failure of representative government, and the Republican party came out weaker, due to their own missteps.

More people need to be involved in shaping our political choices in Utah, beyond the organized minority. The pseudo-exclusive club of organized activists have served Utah poorly, most would agree, including an impressive array of former Utah leaders.

one old man
Ogden, UT

I am a moderate voter.

I have attended caucuses.

I have also been literally shouted down by extremists at the last two I've attended.

I was not the only one subject to that treatment.

Count My Vote is very badly needed.

one vote
Salt Lake City, UT

The moderate voters are shouted down. The caucus results in Senator Lee type radicals. That is reason enough to change.

Darrel
Eagle Mountain, UT

If parties do not want to be subjected to State Laws when picking their candidates, they should have a primary, or some other selection process that is completely free of State funds. Who do you think pays for the current primary system now?

Blue
Salt Lake City, UT

Any political system that puts Mike Lee in the United States Senate is by any rational, real-world definition a failure.

VIDAR
Murray, UT

There are many people, who just do not want to go to a caucus, and get into a political argument with their neighbors.
Many people would prefer to keep their opinions to themselves.
Just like no one would like it, if when they went to vote, there was a big screen showing everyone in the room, how they are voting.
Go to a primary, and my guess is the voting numbers would equal what we see in general elections.

2 bit
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Re: "The caucus system disenfranchises thousands of voters who cannot get to the caucus meeting..." (Sal)

If you can make it to a primary... you can make it to a caucus meeting.

We only had 6% turn out to the recent primary election. You didn't complain about that. Evidently 94% of the people can't be bothered to show up at their Primary OR their caucus meeting). That's the problem.

IF we could get decent Primary election turnout (we already have them you know) I'd be OK with turning it over to the Primary. Is just 6% making the decision without having attended a single meeting, without talking to a single candidate, with their only source of information the TV Commercials, what you want? That's not better IMO.

I think if people want to get involved they can (whether it's a caucus meeting or a primary)... but first you have to show up.

The shouting down thing is mostly a myth from people who never actually attended a caucus meeting and just heard it somewhere and keep repeating it (granted it SOUNDS like it happens all the time). But I've never actually witnessed it.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

It's weird that the people who constantly complain about getting shouted down... are the most vocal people on the internet. If they would just be that vocal at their caucus meeting (and actually attend one)... they would fit in well.

The moderator's not supposed to let people get shouted down. But it's also not supposed to be a meeting where everybody gets up and voices their opinion. It's not a town hall meeting or a public hearing. It's way different.

Everybody who volunteers to be a delegate should get time to introduce themselves and their views. That's what it's about. Find the delegates that you fundamentally agree with most and vote for them to represent the group at the convention. But it's not for everybody in the room to get up and talk.

Strider303
Salt Lake City, UT

Those who don't like how either political party selects candidates can form their own party. If there are so many dissatisfied "moderates" the selection of a candidate from this majority pool should win hands down as the "extremists" from both parties would split the extreme vote and the solid, middle ground majority would have the election in the bag.

Only thing wrong with this idea is what plagues the present chorus of people who are dissatisfied, they won't show up, or contribute money to the party, or work in campaigning for their candidate.

By many definitions I read, extremists are people who read, get involved, give of time and money to push forward their agenda. Folks, we all have agendas, even the MMVC crowd.

It is none of the state's business how political parties select their candidates.

one vote
Salt Lake City, UT

The voters will now be motivated to dump that tea party.

2 bit
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Caucus meeting is not supposed to be an opportunity for everybody to rant on their favorite topic. It's to figure out who is willing to represent the group, and vote to select which delegate you want representing you at the convention.

It isn't a guarantee that you will get to speak your mind.... UNLESS.. you volunteer to be a delegate. Then I guarantee you will get your chance to rant.

But it's not intended to be an opportunity for every person to get up and rant on their favorite topic or candidate.

There's often an opportunity for people to share their opinions... but that's not the main purpose for the meeting. It's not supposed to be a campaign event where surrogates get up and campaign for their guy. It's a neighborhood event, where you get together and share your thoughts (not only with the mike but also just chatting with people you see there that you want to share with or hear from).

It's not a everybody gets to speak thing. So if you got shouted down... you were probably out of order. Volunteer and you will get a chance to speak.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

And what is WRONG with "motivated voters"?

Obama supporters in 2008 were highly motivated voters... Obama worked HARD to motivate voters in 2008, and was PRAISED For it.

I guess it's only WRONG if you are a motivated voter... and you lean right?

You're only a "radical" if you are motivated and right leaning? But if you insist that Socialism is the only way, praise Obama non-stop, admit your a VERY motivated voter, and even adopting the "Marxist" moniker, etc... that's OK.

But if you even sympathize with the Tea Party... you're a radical, and bad for the country, and part of something that should be wiped out.

I'm amazed at where we are today.

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