Published: Thursday, Feb. 20 2014 12:00 a.m. MST
2014 SB 54 Elections Amendments, A proposal for the Utah Legislature to adopt
Count My Vote, prior to knowing if they get enough signatures, and prior to a
vote in November if they do. It provides exceptions, one of which would ruin the
Same Day Ballot that the GOP is adding to increase participation for
Neighborhood Caucus Election night.Many citizens who attend their
neighborhood elections and caucus meeting become interested in politics and get
involved in their communities, the state and the nation. They meet and help
candidates become elected. Some then later become candidates. This should be
encouraged through education. SB 54, lines 796 to 800 ruins that and should be
amended. Again, we need to amend it to allow greater participation
by those that are new to the process. Delete lines 796 to 800. This will allow
someone new to run the night of the meeting. We have and should have incentives
to file and run for delegate or precinct chair prior to the meeting, but as
drafted, the bill reduces participation.
In 2011, according to the Bureau of Business and Economic Research, the annual
average wage or salary in the United States was $48,301. In Utah, it was
$41,105. If the caucus system is responsible for Utah being ranked best for
business, is it also responsible for low pay in Utah?
While the proposals presented in SB54 may fix some of the most egregious
problems with the current system, the far more important issue is the
Legislature's continuous efforts to thwart the Initiative process.I suppose we should feel somewhat honored that they are so afraid of us; but
the point is: It is our right as citizens to put an initiative on the ballot.
The Legislature has an obligation, as our public servants, to allow us to
utilize our Constitutional rights.
I'm glad the initiative effort has pushed the GOP to stand up to its
hard-right faction. I like SB 54 for letting everybody vote in the primaries
instead of locking most voters out. It's about time.
I like the present caucus system. I have participated and will continue to
participate in grass roots politics. I do not want a change. I think
those who want to change the current system are those who genuinely feel they
know what's best for us unwashed and unsophisticated masses and want to
lead us as they feel best. The whole idea is about power, political power, to
shape elections and choose their candidates for office. The current
problem is that the people at the grass roots level are more politically alert
and knowledgeable and have rejected those who see themselves as power brokers
and king-makers. They are upset and want to regain their former station
"above the salt".I also note that those who are in the lead
are my age, grasping for power and meaning in the twilight of their careers and
mourn that they have been rejected, their wisdom and influence discarded. It is
painful for them to bear.The caucus system empowers those who are
willing to take part and work for an ideal. It may not always please those who
want to lead but it is a republican democracy in action.
How would SB 54 be a compromise? The whole concept of a compromise involves
both sides reaching an agreement. Did Senator Bramble reach out to the leaders
of Count My Vote and find middle ground? I don't think so.Isn't it great that those who have the most to lose by a change to the
system, can put forth legislation that disregards the will of the people and we
call that a compromise? I am so grateful to have the all knowing Utah State
legislature ready and willing to step in when the "low information
voters" of this state want to change the system in a way that will be bad
for the state.
No way Dan! SB54 needs to be voted out and is only supported by legislators who
fear for their caucus protected jobs, extreme views and elections.Count my
vote has some heavy hitter supporters including former governor Mike Leavitt.We are only one of a very few states hanging onto the archaic caucus system.
The neighborhood caucus system is only attended by a small portion of Utahans.
Voter numbers are down and many say 'why should I vote when the vote has
been determined by a caucus and my vote doesn't count".Speak up
Utah! I signed the Count my Vote petition and I urge you to sign as well.
Enough of the caucus system which overlooks the voice of the majority.Make
your vote count
CMV is nothing but "good old boy" politicians telling the rest of us
will be elected. Big money, incumbents, and name recognition are the only thing
that they care about. The average guy, like you or me, has no chance at serving
in public office as long as the "good old boys" have their say. They
know that the average voter doesn't have a clue about who is running -
except for the incumbent. They know that the incumbent will always win if they
can keep him from being vetted properly before the primary. They know that the
more they talk about "everybody must be allowed to vote for any
candidate", the more the uninformed will cheer them on.We live
in a Democratic Republic. Count My Vote opposed a Democratic Republic. Too few
of the citizens of this State have any idea what it means to be a citizen of a
Democratic Republic. We assign others the heavy lifting in politics so that we
can perform our jobs knowing that responsible people are vetting candidates for
us. That concept is opposite what CMV plans to do.
I have been an active participant in Caucus meetings for thirty years and held
party offices and acted as a delegate to both conventions. I would not entirely
agree that the system has served us well for decades or we wouldn't have a
large majority (determined by polls) of the citizenry that are very unhappy with
the current system and hoping it changes. Even those elected by this flawed
system now admit (because of political necessity)it needs changing. It is clear
that a majority prefer a system that provides representation which more closely
reflects our values and desires for governmental action. It is clear that the
curent system, through politically extreme delegates, has elected politicians
who would never have won a primary election. Whether it is education,
immigration, control of who can vote for office candidates it is clear that the
current body of legislators is more interested in protecting their jobs than
allowing voters to chose who represents them.
SB 54 is a run around CMV, the entrenched and very powerful despise CMV. They
also despise the citizen initiative process.
If CMV passes, it will be easier for incumbents to get reelected, because they
will have money, power, and name recognition.Bottom line, citizen
initiatives are great for repealing laws. They are horrible for creating new
laws, because they don't go through the same vetting process that is in the
legislature.Those of you who support CMV, have you read all 20 pages
of their bill? Do you understand the repercussions if it passes?
Let's put some numbers to this issue...* Utah Population:
2,855,287 (U.S. Census Bureau July 2012 population estimate; probably about 2.9
million today)* Registered voters: 1,480,573 (Utah Lt.
Governor's Elections webpage)* "Active" registered
voters: 1,254,858 (Utah Lt. Governor's Elections webpage)*
Party convention delegates: approx. 5,500* If only 8% of active
registered voters participated in an open primary, it would be over 100,389
people.Given this information, which is more likely to better
represent the total active registered voters and total population, the 5,500
delegates, or the 100,000+ open primary voters? And this is assuming only 8%
voter turnout. While it is impossible to know with certainty beforehand, I
would expect voter turnout to be much higher than that. Ultimately, all 1.48
million registered voters (and any other eligible-but-unregistered voters who
registered beforehand) would have the opportunity to vote on the entire field of
candidates and not just the few candidates who ended up winning the favor of the
5,500 delegates.This is representative democracy - the electorate
choosing the public officials who then make governmental decisions on the
electorate's behalf. Choosing delegates to choose the officials is only a
derivative of representative democracy.
Look no further than Mike Lee's senate race. Polls overwhelming showed
that the majority of voters preferred Bob Bennett over Mike Lee. But, because
of the caucus system and it's closure to the majority of Utahns we never
got the chance to vote for Bob over Mike. The radical, right wing and tea party
want to hold on to the current system because they fear they'll lose power
if more people get involved in the process. The decision is simple if you see
the current, distructive path so many of our current leaders are pursuing. CMV
is the right choice.
Web Geek,You said referring to initiatives, "They are horrible
for creating new laws, because they don't go through the same vetting
process that is in the legislature". When you say vetting process I am
guessing you mean the closed door republican caucus where all the decisions are
made, not the show that is put on out on the floor of the senate because the
republicans already know how the vote is going to turn out.
To FT what poll about Bennett and Lee are you talking about?
We don't need a compromise. We need the right to choose our candidates
directly without the filter of delegates. It is shameful that these senators
want to repress this citizens' initiative. It will back fire. We are
paying attention to those who legislators who support SB54.
"When government suppresses the people it is not in the people's
interest but for their own want for power". Let everyone vote in the
primaries. I agree with jrgl ..."SB54 needs to be voted out and is
only supported by legislators who fear for their caucus protected jobs, extreme
views and elections." I'm losing some major respect for these
guys. Cumon Dan you are better than this.
People want to vote for candidates not delagates. Who has time to spend hours at
a caucus to elect a delagate who may or may not vote for the candidate you want.
That's very discouraging to participation for those of us with busy less
flexible jobs and family responibilities.. Let me spend three hours learning
about candidates positions and arguments at the place of my convienience (at
home if I like) and one minute voting. The masses don't vote in primaries.
It will be those that care enough to vote and the politicians should trust them.
People are very busy with jobs and families and it shouldn't be just those
with a lot of time on their hands that think they should vote for the rest of
us. SB 54 is offensive. If politicians want to help the electorate, set up a
central website where potential candidates can put forth their veiws and
arguments but absolutely change to a direct primary system. Why is Utah in the
It seems that those who are most eager to change the system are those who opt
not to participate in the process that exists today. They don't
participate and are then disappointed with the outcome.There are
benefits to the current system that cannot possibly be provided through a direct
primary. With the caucus system, delegates have direct access to meet with the
candidates, ask them questions. With a direct primary that access cannot exist,
it's simply impractical. The candidates message will be exactly what they
want us to hear, with no way to challenge it directly. Additionally, the one
with the most money will flood the airwaves and mailboxes with propaganda. This
creates a major advantage for incumbents who generally have access to more money
than their challengers.An engaged delegate has the opportunity to
see things that even informed voters may not. The image seen is not necessarily
one managed by a PR firm and hasn't been edited and approved for inclusion
on a TV ad. This is critical since so many candidates claim the same position
on many issues. We need participation, not SB45 or Count My Vote.
The 'good old boy' network is seething mad that one of their own, Bob
Bennett, was removed from office as a result of the Caucus system. They have
found some politically correct sounding arguments to turn public opinion against
the caucus system, to make sure that one of theirs will never be outed again.The 'good old boy' network controls every other part of our
electoral system. This is the one piece they can't control, so they want to
get rid of it. If they do, all elections in the future will be based on whoever
has the most money and name recognition, and once a part of the 'good old
boy' network, the money will flow, and the name recognition will be there,
and we will be fully enslaved.How many people spend 40-50 hours
meeting one-on-one with the candidates before voting at a primary? If most of
the people do, then CMV will work. But I am 100% certain that less than 1% of
the voters will do this. Yet that is what the delegates, who are elected at the
caucuses will do for us. We need them!With CMV more people will
vote, but in ignorance.
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