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Published: Tuesday, Feb. 11 2014 12:00 a.m. MST

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Furry1993
Ogden, UT

When I go to the polls and cast a vote I know, whether or not my candidate wins, that my vote counts and will be counted. When I go to a caucus, I have no idea for whom the delegate selected by the caucus will vote, and have no way to know whether my concerns will be raised and discussed, and/or whether my position will be supported. Most likely, my vote in the caucus will not support my position and concerns -- it will not in fact count. I want my vote to COUNT. That is why I am supporting "Count My Vote", why I will sign the petition to get it on the ballot, and why I will vote for its passage. I want my vote, and the votes of all people in Utah, to count. They don't with the caucus system.

Ranch
Here, UT

You may not need a big bankroll to run in the caucas system, but you need to say the right things to the extremists who run the caucuses or your campaign is toast.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Oh please, these arguments have been debunked time after time after time.

Why should my vote go to some delegate? Let my voice be my own and not some delegate who is being bribed.

one old man
Ogden, UT

This writer must not have attended any of the caucuses I attended. They were nonsensical farces run by extremists who shouted anyone more moderate into silence.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I do not understand the notion that the caucus system allows a poor person to run for office any easier than a primary system. The way I see it, money is the only way to be elected to public office.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

With "Count My Vote", who chooses which candidates appear on the ballot? You don't. I don't. The citizens of Utah have no input. The "party elite" chooses who will appear on the ballot. The "party elite" decides who is good enough to ride along with the other "good old boys". The "party elite" decide who they have enough hooks in to make those candidates jump when they say jump.

If that's what you want, then, by all means, support "Count My Vote". On the other hand, if you want to elect a delegate from your precinct who actually talks to all of the candidates and verifies that the candidate that he votes for meets the qualifications of the precinct, then reject "Count My Vote".

We live in a Democratic Republic. The caucus is part of that system. "Count My Vote" has nothing to do with a Democratic Republic. Party "Bigwigs" do the choosing. How is that part of a Democratic Republic? When did a Party get power over the people? But, if that's what you want, support "Count My Vote".

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

People like Furry, who say that their vote doesn't count are just funny, or uninformed.

We already have a party primary. It just happens after convention.

I don't know if they are aware of this (less than 10% of Utahns seem to be aware of this)... but we already have a party-primary (in which every individual vote counts). It happens after Convention.

IF you want your individual vote to count... VOTE IN YOUR PRIMARY (only 6% of registered voters turned out to the municipal primary election in 2013). So obviously this isn't a big deal to 94% of Utahns.... just doing away with the convention seems to be all they care about. I don't get it!

===

The ONLY difference (IF we do away with the Convention and caucus meetings) is... everybody will be on the party-primary ballot (instead of the top-2). That's the ONLY difference.

Your individual vote IS counted in the party-primary (but it already is... that is the point I'm trying to get across). You will just be able to vote for people not in the top-2. But I seriously doubt that will change the final outcome.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Before you comment, ask yourself... "Did I vote in the 2013 primary"? Did I vote in my 2012 Primary?

If you are in the 94% who didn't... just how important do you REALLY think your individual vote is?

===

The only function of the Convention is to narrow the field to the top-2 most viable candidates (to face-off in the party primary). Period.

The function of the Caucus meeting is to get people involved and informed, at a grass-roots level, not by national advertisers or party officials, but by your neighbors, who are the only people who have a right to speak at your caucus meeting.

The caucus allows you and your neighbors to pick delegates to Conventions. Where they will help narrow the field to the top-2 who will face-off in the party primary (WHERE YOU INDIVIDUALLY VOTE AGAIN).

===

You individually vote 3 times:
-Your caucus meeting
-Your party primary
-The general election.

How many of these are you actually taking advantage of now???

If you actually vote in none of them.... How sincere are you REALLY about having your individual vote count?

Homer1
MIDVALE, UT

Supporters of the present caucus system need to be honest in this debate and acknowledge the political gaming and silly neighborhood and ward stuff that goes on, allowing very interested people to exert a very disproportionate influence on the early candidate selection in our state politics.

You might think it's just allowing local grassroots politics to play a role, but in reality, you have to see that it is a role way out of proportion in the entire political system. Count Your Vote will reduce the power that I believe is out of balance and maybe that seems worth fighting about for those accustomed to this power and privilege. But, I support this realignment of political influence in the state.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Homer1,
I am being completely honest about the caucus and convention system.

I don't know how much "Gaming" goes on there.

I've never personally witnessed a caucus meeting that was organized enough to be "Gamed" by any person, or any ward, or any other boogeyman.

===

Re "those accustomed to this power and privilege"...

You seem to think this is a coronation of some powerful group of people who represent your neighborhood every year at convention. I have never seen anyone elected (or even volunteer) who was a delegate the last time. So this conspiracy of a group of high-influence people going to convention every year... is just bogus whooey (at least in my neighborhood).

===

I'm starting to wonder if you have ever actually been to a caucus meeting... have you??

Because they are NOTHING like you describe in your conspiracy theory.

===

About the Ward-conspiracy-theory...

So what if people from the same ward attend the caucus meeting... they are from the same neighborhood... naturally they would be there.

Most of the people who volunteered and were elected to be delegates from my neighborhood were non-lds or inactive (if that matters).

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Buy my vote?

Sounds like the motto our delegates live by.

They decide who to vote for based on the bribes they receive from special interest groups. My voice/vote doesn't matter. I want my voice to matter. Get rid of the ridiculous caucus.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Maverick,

RE: "They decide who to vote for based on the bribes they receive from special interest groups"...

Do you have any actual evidence or proof that is true?

Or do you think just because you say it... or heard it somewhere... it's true?

===

I think this bribing convention delegates is conspiracy theory hooowie...

I've never been a delegate, but I know several people who have, and I have two brothers who have and a nephew who has... and none of them have received any bribes.

Is there even proof of ONE delegate getting bribed???

And yet people like Maverick spout it like it's actual fact (just because they say it).

===

Who out there actually KNOWS of a bribe being given to a delegate?? Not your friend. Or a friend of someone who told you he heard it happened (classic urban legend spreading format). But it was actually YOU (not a hearsay person) who got bribed with money at the convention or the caucus meeting.

If that person is out there... maybe I'll listen to Maverick's rantings a little more credibility. But if not....

===

Last post BTW... have a great day.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "Furry1993" if you are so concerned about your voice being heard and represented by the vote of the caucus representative at the convention, then why don't you either run for caucus representative or else get to know the people that you caucus with? Another option is to go to the caucus event for another political party. If you don't like the Democrat canidate, maybe you can go to the Republican caucus meeting, or the Libertarian, or the Communist. That is the great thing about this country. You have your choice of political parties, and you probably can find one more to your liking.

VST
Bountiful, UT

@Real Maverick said, “They decide who to vote for based on the bribes they receive from special interest groups.”

Not when I have been a delegate – no bribes were offered or accepted.

You better choose better arguments that have some documented facts behind it to make your case why we should scrap the caucus/convention system.

Fred44
Salt Lake City, Utah

2 bits,

I did vote in the last primary and I would like to to choose from the 5-6-7 or however many choose to run. The outcome may not change, but in 2014 this is the way we should be electing our representatives.

Confused
Sandy, UT

2 bits...

I do have proof, I have actually seen the number of "invites" delegates get by the candidates to "her" their views while eating at a restaurant or some shindig.

I have seen the items sent to delegates to persuade them that they are the "right" choice...

So yes, Delegates are "bribed" before the convention is held.

Not saying "Count my Vote" is the best way, but from my understanding the current caucus system Utah employs is the only one of it's kind in the 50 states... If not Count my Vote, maybe changes to the current system is in order.

The major problem right now is that independents is the largest group of voters. Most lean right, but they are fed up with the State GOP and how they run things, but can not get the current "tea party" mojo off the table.

So if you are independent and want to vote for a person that does not get one of the position for the party, then they "Can't vote".

Why is Utah GOP so afraid of open primaries? why do they limit their caucus meetings to "members" only? hmmm..

VST
Bountiful, UT

@Fred44,

Sorry, but it will not happen for the 2014 election. If this petition (Count My Vote) makes it to the ballot, then it will be voted upon (approved or disapproved) on that same 2014 election ballot. The only other way it would happen for the 2014 election is to change the State Law before the caucuses of both parties are held this coming March. That will also not happen since there is not even a bill before the Legislature right now (not enough time before the caucuses are held)

@Confused asked, “Why is Utah GOP so afraid of open primaries? Why do they limit their caucus meetings to "members" only?”

Because, again by State Law, political parties get to make the rules on how their candidates are selected to become the party nominees for the General Election. If you are a Republican, then you get to rightfully participate in that process (caucus-convention-Republican primary election).

I will counter with a question to you. Why would ANY political party allow non-registered party members choose their party candidates and eventual nominees for the General Election? That is why we have political parties with common ideas regarding governance.

Confused
Sandy, UT

VST... to answer your question, with a question "why don't you go ask the democrats?, they allow ANYONE to vote in their primaries".

Unreconstructed Reb
Chantilly, VA

I don't live in Utah, so I've no skin in the debate...but if Big Money is the major concern in a conventional primary system, why not limit Big Money itself? Curbing the effects of Big Money is healthier for democracy all around, and not just in Utah.

VST
Bountiful, UT

@Confused,

Well the Republicans do not, and that is their legal right to exclude anyone who is NOT a registered member of their party.

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