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Comments about ‘Agreement reached between Count My Vote group and legislators’

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Published: Saturday, March 1 2014 10:00 p.m. MST

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Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT

"Count my Vote"

Sure. Already back-room deals are taking place, and my vote won't count for a hill of beans. Politicians disgust me. Between this and selling my voter ID info on the open market, I'm pretty much through with the political process.

ray vaughn
Ogden, UT

No settlement will be acceptable. Any negotiated settlement will be gutted by legislative leaders as soon as they can slide provisions into a bill. I still remember the groundswell of support for a citizen petition to impose term limits. legislative leaders thwarted that movement by passing a bill imposing term liits to take effect a few years down the road. But when tine came for term limits to remove veteran legislators from office a bill was passed revoking the term limits bills. No settlement. Let it get on the bsllot for the citizens to vote yes or no.

PeanutGallery
Salt Lake City, UT

This morning I heard there is at least one Utah legislator on the negotiating team who refuses to go along with the change (to allow the alternate path to the ballot). Good for him (or her) - I admire your courage and your principled stand. Too bad others on the negotiating team are willing to give up the store on this issue.

Count My Vote (aka, “BUY My Vote”) is a bad idea, and so is Sen. Bramble’s bill (SB54), especially the latest version (which would allow the alternate path). The alternate path would allow wealthy candidates to simply buy their way onto the ballot, bypassing the vetting process. The result, in some cases, will be worse candidates who feel less obligation to represent the people.

The caucus/convention process is the right way to select the candidates for our parties. Sen. Bramble’s bill would nearly KILL that process, so legislators who are congratulating themselves for “preserving” the caucus/convention system with his bill are delusional. Here’s hoping that Count My Vote and Bramble’s bill are both defeated.

Mtn Tracker
Ephraim, UT

Count my Vote, No vetting of candidates. Big money, super packs, and unions buying votes based on name recognition and popularity. Allows infiltration of other parties to manipulate the outcome; example (Harry Reid). Claims that caucuses exclude people from voting when even in the most important elections we're lucky to get 40% voter turnout. Rural Utah wouldn't exist anymore if we went to a primary. Why would a candidate spend time and money to gain a smaller amount of votes. Rural Utah would be past over just like Utah is past over in presidential elections.

Utah is one of the best managed states in America. We don't have what we have by accident. Everyone I've talked to that is for count my vote has never even been to a caucus. They try to paint people who attend as extremist.

Mtn Tracker
Ephraim, UT

Caucus, A chance to listen and TALK to a candidate, and really vet them. No chance of big money or special interest swaying votes. Candidates get some serious grilling done to them without name recognition or popularity. All of Utah has an equal say in who is chosen. Caucus's are the way we've done it in Utah for decades.

Sal
Provo, UT

Don't let us down on this one. Don't cave into the legislature now attempting to thwart the will of the people. Utah voters don't want anything to do with the caucus system anymore, period. Keep the initiative alive! We'll take care of our representatives in the legislature who want to block the initiative.

John Jackson
Sandy, UT

A sigh of relief from me. Though I am not against a good caucus-convention system, in its present form, it is not an worthy thing. Too often, it is the playground for party machines, and not the voice of the people. No wonder the parties hold tight to it, for it empowers political machines, and we might should consider that that is what they are.

David
Centerville, UT

Mtn Tracker,

I attend my caucus meetings and have served as a county delegate twice. I support Count My Vote. So your statement is wrong.

Also, I assume when you stated "Caucus, A chance to listen and TALK to a candidate, and really vet them" refers to the delegates selected at caucus meetings who go out and meet with candidates. I have been to caucus meetings and never saw a candidate at my caucus meetings.

After the delegates are selected they receive invitations from candidates to attend meetings and get to know them. Delegates also receive numerous articles of information from candidates. But the general population does not receive this type of attention until the general election.

This is one of the goals of County My Vote: have more Utah voters be involved in selecting the general election candidates via a primary.

Lastly, you state that Utah is among the best managed states. If this was true, then why are student test scores for continuing to drop over time? Why is medicaid so poorly managed to provide so few benefits? Why have education funds been diverted to transportation?

John Jackson
Sandy, UT

I never did understand why Sen. Bramble's legislation would invalidate the Count My Vote initiative, and maybe the media never explained that. Bramble is a legislator, and as such it is his job to create laws, so I do not fault him for coming up with a bill. But, how is it that that once the initiative comes along behind, the initiative does not supercede what Bramble has done, instead of it being the other way around?
Also, I like the suggestion that parties not be dictated to by the state. Let them nominate whoever they will and in whatever manner they will. But, they should run and pay for their own primaries, instead of the state. And, their candidates should not be exended special privileges. The state should have its own primary, and it should be a primary in which the parties do not dictate whose names are on the ballot. Whatever process we have for an independent getting on the ballot should also be required of the party nominee.

Jeff29
Draper, UT

This move is a complete win for CMV as it essentially negates the caucus system and the convention. Now a big name, big money candidate can completely bypass the caucus and convention and simply collect a ridiculously low number of signatures to force a primary.

Freedom takes yet another hit.

Thoughtful Voter
Spanish Fork, UT

This deal effectively gives CMV everything they wanted and weakens the caucuses to the point that they aren't worth participating in for either delegates or candidates.

Elwood P. Suggins
BEAVERTON, OR

Those unwilling to become affiliated with a political party HAVE NO RIGHT to vote in the primary election candidates for that party.

On the other hand
Riverdale, MD

The caucus system is anything but representative. Sure, you can go hang out with your neighbors for a few hours, two minutes of which can be yours to say your peace. You can jockey for the handful of delegate slots designated for your precinct. If you're lucky, the people running the meeting will follow the rules laid out by the party. If you're really lucky, you might become a delegate. If you're like the majority of caucus attendees, you won't become a delegate and most of the nominating process will happen in a forum from which you are excluded.

It's nice that the Count My Vote folks were able to negotiate an alternative path to the ballot, but 1) the devil is always in the details, and 2) with this compromise, the myriad flaws of the caucus system still remain. As long as there is a caucus, party insiders will continue to exploit those flaws to the detriment of average Utahns. What a sham; what a shame.

EJM
Herriman, UT

I'm ashamed that the CMV folks sold out. That's all this is. If they were truly serious about this they would have gotten this on the ballot and let the people decide, just like they were telling us all along. I am ashamed.

cmsense
Kaysville, UT

Why whine about the compromise? Caucus lovers get to keep their caucus and non caucus lovers get to vote in a primary if a candidate gets enough support to get on a primary ballot. A delegate just doesn't get the de facto final say if the candidate they choose isn't mainstream enough to win in a primary. I love it! Everyone will have a chance to have a voice now even the moderate majority!

brs27
Beaver, UT

I understand the populist appeal of the idea that "every citizen should have a vote", after all what's more American than that? But it's actually a trite phrase meant to be superficial and deceptive. The caucus/convention system spreads political power throughout the state and resists the tendency to concentrate it in the population centers. Without it, no statewide candidate will ever be motivated to acquaint themselves with rural voters or issues. Our current system does allow every citizen to have a voice; but in the form of a republic, where smaller groups of citizens choose representatives. In a pure democracy a single voice is truly lost among the hundreds of thousands that also try to be heard. The caucus/convention system provides a reasonable path for any common person to seek political office. If we abandon this system for a general primary election, the office will go to the one able to purchase the most advertising; meaning that Utah politics will become even more of a playground of the rich and famous than it already is. Doubt this? Read over a list of the supporters of, and donors to, the County My Vote initiative. You'll see.

bill in af
American Fork, UT

This is a win-win. That is what compromise is all about. There would have been no change at all in the caucus/convention system had the Count My Vote initiative not been introduced. There is no guarantee that CMV would have obtained the necessary county signatures to be put on the ballot and some of the 100,000+ signatures may have been disqualified. Let's try the system for awhile and see how it works. At least with the LDS church encouraging more participation, there will be a stronger moderate feel and less extreme attempts to control the process.

#1 Champ
Salt Lake City, UT

@Peanut Gallery,

Your "vetting process" didn't represent the sentiments of the general populous. This agreement disallows extremest from hijacking elections and in return leave the decisions to the all of constituents who are ultimately electing candidates that represent them.

Personally I like this agreement better than proposed CMV. AND 100% better than our outdated system now.

Kinderly
Riverdale, MD

What a let down.

Maybe this is an improvement on the current system but I think that given the number of supporters, CMV could have gone all the way!

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