Comments about ‘Senate backs bill aimed at Count My Vote initiative’

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Petition supporters say legislation shows 'shocking disregard' to will of people

Published: Thursday, Feb. 20 2014 2:55 p.m. MST

Updated: Thursday, Feb. 20 2014 5:55 p.m. MST

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liberty or ...?
Ogden, UT

I am sorry but I am sick of this blanket statement the will of the people and why don't I trust my neighbors vote? I challenge the supporters of CMV. I will support CMV now if you can show me that within the last 5 years 65% of all Utah citizens (Cause thats what you are requiring as a majority in this petition and why the libretarians and democrats should get a voice in who I pick for my Republican candidate)Have attended or completed at least 65% of the following-Neighborhood Caucuss,Town Hall meeting,School board meeting,Read the bills and legislation being discussed (not comments and opinions the actual bill)including SB116,Common core,ACA,net neutrality,NSA 3rd and 4th amendment proposals,attended a protest or rally,veted the candidates by meeting them face to face, going to their websites checking their voting records, emailed or contacted their congressman or senator at least 5 times (for major issues that have been in public eye) in the last five years, checked the voting records, reported to peers. Thats what I have done as a delegate. If they do this then you are informed to make an accurate decision.

Web Geek
Lehi, UT

The CMV petition is fundamentally flawed. There is no provision for what to do when there is no clear majority vote. If 5 candidates are in the primary and no one gets above 50%, what happens then? Also, if a representative resigns (like Spencer Cox did to become Lt. Gov.) who decides his replacement? A special election?

Citizens initiatives are good for repealing laws, not drafting them. Give them credit for getting the ball rolling, but SB54 is a much more fully vetted solution.

stevo123
slc, ut

If there is anything that Republican leadership fears, it is CMV and the Citizen initiative.

cmsense
Kaysville, UT

I'm a big fan of CMV. These legislaters have a lot of hubris. I am a Republican but this vote is shameful. I hope voters wake up and vote supporters of this out. I hope we aren't all lemmings just because we live in Utah. If there is no room in the Republican party for moderates in Utah my vote will go else where. There are more moderates in this state than people realize and getting rid of the caucus system will show that. Gov. Herbert please veto this bill if it passes!

srw
Riverton, UT

liberty or ...?:
Please let us know where we can read the text of the bill/legislation concerning Common Core.

Web Geek:
Where did you hear about these fundamental flaws? Your message prompted me to read the text of the initiative at the Count My Vote web site, and it clearly says that the candidate with the most votes wins. There is nothing about requiring a majority.

Francis LeGuarde
Sandy, UT

SB 54 is (at least) a couple years too late. I have no problem with the concept of a legislative compromise on a policy issue, but SB 54 looks and feels like a way to circumvent a likely-successful voter initiative. That feels as undemocratic as our caucus system!

I would prefer not to legislate how a political party chooses candidates, but Utah's unique political demographics necessitate a fundamental change in the way our system works. If Republican primaries are the de facto general elections, it is in the state's interest to design an more inclusive process that better fosters participation.

I understand the caucus system often produces delegates who are well-informed on issues and candidates — I respect how seriously many delegates take their job — but I can't support a system that excludes so many while placing outsized influence and power in the hands of a few.

D.T.
Sandy, UT

Democratic elections aren't about making "accurate" decisions, as one commenter puts it — they are about letting people decide for themselves who should legislate and govern. For better or worse, democratically elected governments should represent the will of the people, and not just the will of people who are "educated" about candidates and issues.

SB 54 strikes me as a tool for the legislature to override a broadly-popular voter initiative. There is no need for the "principled compromise" legislators are seeking — they missed their opportunity, and now voters intend to deal with the issue directly. Please don't get in our way.

Kings Court
Alpine, UT

Another example of people who love power wishing to retain their positions.

high school fan
Huntington, UT

Just a thought, Is having almost 100,000 signatures the will of the people when there are3,000,000 of us in this state? Is it the will of the people when statewide candidates never have to visit a rural county ever again? And why exactly is this group spending all this money and what do they get out of it?

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

I sure hope there is a third party candidate running in my senate district, because I cannot vote to re-elect my senator who voted for this and I cannot vote for the dem.

David
Centerville, UT

I generally vote Republican. I have been a Republican delegate to my county GOP convention. I attend my caucus meetings each year.

I support County My Vote and have signed the citizens petition to get it on the ballot. I think Utah voters should have the opportunity to vote on this because the legislature has failed to take the initiative, until now, to address troubling trends and concerns surrounding elections.

It is too common for those in power to act in their self-interest to maintain their position and power, so it is not a surprise that the legislature has been slow to act...until they realized that the CMV effort was moving forward.

I would be very concerned if, as was stated at the end of this article, the Protect Our Neighborhood Elections successfully voided all or most of the signatures on the CMV petition.

thinking out loud
SLC, UT

Rich McKeown admits to the very thing that supporters of the caucus system worry about! He basically says that we have money and connections and we'll control the messaging to the public through the media. That's what will also happen in a direct primary. Those who have the money and connections will have the influence. It's silly that this initiative is called a "citizen" initiative. It would be better renamed a "corporate" initiative.

Tom in MS
Madison, MS

How is moving to direct primary thwarting the will of the people? How would putting a name on the ballot discourage participation? Plus you have several hours in which to vote, not the 1 or 2 hours of a caucus meeting, where people full of hot air throw their weight around. The powers that be are upset at this. The people shouldn't be.

Justmythoughts
Provo, UT

If candidates are elected directly through primary elections.....They will camp out where most of the votes are located. Rural Utah will become irrelevant. That is not what I call representation.

Sal
Provo, UT

Pay attention to which legislators support SB54 then vote for delegates who will not support these legislators. If my Senator makes it through to the general election I will vote for a Democrat and not for Senator Bramble. He refuses to recognize the will of the people.

Web Geek
Lehi, UT

srw,
I read the 20+ page bill (something many signers of the petition probably haven't done) and didn't find any language about it. If what you says is true, are you ok with a candidate winning with 20%, 30%, or even 40%? I'm not. If a candidate is to represent my party of choice, they need to get at least a majority - 50+%.

wer
South Jordan, UT

As usual, those with selfless agendas like to give a title to something that misleads. IN this case, the move should be called "Buy My Vote".

And then they like to spray it with a nice fragrance so the true stink doesn't get noticed as easily. With a pile of manure, no matter what you call it or how much you spray it, it's still "count my vote".

David
Centerville, UT

Web Geek,

Past presidents of the US have not managed to garner 50% of the vote.

If a candidate captures more votes than his opponents, then he/she is the winner.

Justmythoughts,

How is your scenario different for the CMV proposals as opposed to what is happening now? Representatives are specific to a geographic boundary established by political bodies. I doubt a rural candidate running for the Utah House will neglect campaigning within his area of representation.

Noodlekaboodle
Poplar Grove, UT

@Justmythoughts
Then maybe it will stop the legislator from trying to neutralize my vote in SLC. The fact that the west side of SLC, West Valley, and all of western utah (Washington County to Box Elder) are part of the same congressional district is nothing more than an attempt to keep the kind of people that my neighbors and I would elect out of office. Rural Utah has got more than their fare share for years. Lets balance it back out.

regis
Salt Lake City, UT

Political parties are independent entities. They should have the right to decide for themselves how they will select nominees for office. And if voters don't like the process a party chooses for selecting nominees, there's an easy alternative. Just vote for the other candidate.

How would Mormons like it if somebody decided they didn't like the Mormon church process for choosing an apostle, and so passed a law to force a change in the process? The same could be said of Catholics and the process to choose a new Pope. It's ludicrous. These are independent organizations, and they have the right to decide the process they will use to select their leaders.

The same is true of political parties. They are independent organizations. They should be free to follow the processes they choose. Nobody's stopping Democrats in Utah from changing their process and going to a direct primary system. That would give people a choice. They can vote for a Democrat who was nominated by a supposedly open process, or vote for a Republican who was nominated by a supposedly closed process.

Freedom. That's America. Let freedom ring.

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