Richard Davis: Utah needs an independent election commission

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  • TeachyMcTeacherPants Sandy, UT
    Aug. 14, 2017 5:02 a.m.

    40% of Utahns are either registered Democrats or unaffiliated.

    If Salt Lake City was one district they could elect someone who actually represents the city and looked after the city's needs.

    Instead we have largest metro area carved up like a pizza and we end up with extreme candidates that wouldn't stand a chance if the moderate vote wasn't so diluted. All our members of congress do are say no to everything. I'm tired of it.

  • SMcloud Sandy, UT
    Aug. 14, 2017 4:58 a.m.

    I agree.

    I think a lot of the apathy towards politics in this state stems from the feeling that no matter who runs, the Republican will win.

    It wouldn't matter if Jesus Christ himself ran as a democrat, he would be branded a socialist and lose in Utah.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 13, 2017 1:19 p.m.

    Every state should have an independent election commission and an independent commission that draws redistricting lines. Politicians in both parties should be removed as much as possible when it comes to setting rules for elections.

  • Jeremiah S Fielding, UT
    Aug. 13, 2017 12:28 p.m.

    Not only do we need independent election commissions, we desperately need independent redistricting to end the unconstitutional gerrymandering in this state.

  • Swiss Price, UT
    Aug. 13, 2017 9:17 a.m.

    I notice that the examples of two independent election commissions are Illinois and Florida. Illinois is a state on the verge of bankruptcy. I guess that is why the author chose to talk more about Florida than Illinois.
    I just wish Paul Harvey's son would come on the radio and tell us the "rest of the story".

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Aug. 13, 2017 8:20 a.m.

    There is no such thing as independent or non partisan these days.

    You get the choice of elected, accountable, and honest about political biases, or of appointed, unaccountable, and hiding political biases. I prefer the former over the latter.

    If we don't like the way the elected Lt. Gov is running the elections office, or the way the elected legislature passed laws and redistricts, we can choose new officials at the next election. Utah maintains some of the easiest ballot access laws in the nation.

    For 40 years, the Utah Democrats have handed the GOP control of Utah by generally running candidates whose views and personal lifestyles are grossly outside the Utah mainstream. We see however that when the Democrats run sensible, mainstream candidates (Matheson), they are competitive.

    If the UU party runs mainstream candidates who appeal to Utahns, they will do well. But if they continue to be just an effort to split the GOP vote to bolster radical left Democrats, or to continue family dynasties, they will fully deserve to fail.

    Changes in election law won't change those outcomes.

  • John Jackson Sandy, UT
    Aug. 12, 2017 10:11 p.m.

    This is a wonderful idea, an independent elections commission. In Utah, we are blessed with a high percentage of unaffiliated voters, so perhaps it could be mandated that half the members of the commission come from the ranks of the unaffiliated.
    The commission could do the redistricting, taking the decisions for that out of the hands of those (the legislators) who stand to benefit. It could make recommendations for election procedures and equipment to ensure the election process was not compromised nor hacked. (I admire the work Mark Thomas of the Elections Office is currently doing in that regard.) It could do random spot checks, recounting a portion of the paper ballots -- a practice which in light of the increased danger of being hacked ought to become common procedure.
    Of all offices that ought to be non-partisan, it seems the elections office should be one.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Aug. 12, 2017 9:03 p.m.


    No, the problem is that the politicians have chosen their voters through gerrymandering.


    Elected officials actually shouldn't simply "support the party". They were elected to govern for the benefit of all citizens, not just "the party".

    @Fitness Freak;

    Every citizens voice should have equal value and not be gerrymandered out of existence.

    @Mike Richards;

    Problem: Districts that don't represent the people.
    Resolution: Non-partisan, independent, redistricting.

    Could it be any more clearly stated than that (and Constitutional)?

  • libs think what??? Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 12, 2017 7:19 p.m.

    Nuffer was appointed by BO, so his credentials are questionable.

    county clerks are partisan creatures. That's why the dem SL county clerk sent out GOP primary ballots to unaffiliated voters who should not have received them.

    yes, it WAS progressives, a DEM county clerk mailing ballots to the wrong voters. not all parts of the state follow the divine guidance you reference.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Aug. 12, 2017 6:47 p.m.

    Why would Mr. Davis want to change the rules? Oh yes, he's the head of a political party. He knows that the only way his party can win is if we throw out the rule book and then let him rewrite the rules.

    The Democrats have a party platform. The Republicans have a party platform. Whether we agree or disagree with those platforms, at least we know how those parties stand on the issues. Where is Mr. Davis' platform? Does he expect people to blindly vote without knowing exactly what the party stands for and what a candidate will most likely do if elected.

    I would advise Mr. Davis to clearly state the problem and then tell us how his party would solve the problem while staying completely within the framework of the Constitution.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Aug. 12, 2017 3:46 p.m.

    "Progressives are pushing us toward mob rule democracy."

    So, it was Progressives that mailed out over 50,000 GOP ballots to the wrong voters? Please explain.

  • misanthrope sl, UT
    Aug. 12, 2017 1:36 p.m.

    Chaffetz was elected with 73% of the vote. Why would anyone go out of their way to prevent 'competition' when competition is futile? The assault on the caucus/convention system is the true assault on our representative democracy. Voting by mail and having early voting also endanger the integrity of the vote. I had access to 4 mail ballots. Were I not an honest person, I could vote 4 times in each election. Progressives are pushing us toward mob rule democracy.

  • nonceleb Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 12, 2017 12:40 p.m.

    No, Utah does not need an independent voting commission. Nonpartisan election officials have already found no evidence of significant voter fraud. It is a solution in search of a nonexistent problem. This entire venture is bogus and the information gathered will be used by Republicans to further suppress voting.

  • It Begins In Utah Logan, UT
    Aug. 12, 2017 10:33 a.m.

    This is well stated. While there may have been no ill intent on behalf of Lt. Governor Cox, it still becomes a conflict of interest, and a clear ethical issue.

    An independent commission is a solution that we could use to solve this. Decisions regarding political party participation in state elections should not be put into the hands of those belonging to a political party that stands to lose or gain from that decision. Ethics matter.

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 12, 2017 10:17 a.m.

    How about this: as soon as the democrats can elect themselves a majority in Utah; then THEY can set the rules for redistricting.

    I'm NOT holding my breath.

    This is yet ANOTHER partisan piece that attempts to make it look like the democrats are doing their best to save us from ourselves!

  • at long last. . . Kirksville , MO
    Aug. 12, 2017 10:15 a.m.

    All disgruntled folks need is money and judge shopping to get what they want. The election process, as things are trending now, will be decided soon by the judiciary and not the voters. Other minority parties (and I am a member of one) have made it onto the ballot and have managed to stay on the ballot despite obstacles placed there by the dominant party. Were the Democrats the dominant party the obstacles would be the same, or likely worse. I encourage all voters to shun the United Utah party and their sense of entitlement, impatience, and judge shopping.

  • David Centerville, UT
    Aug. 12, 2017 10:02 a.m.

    Richard Davis and the United Utah Party has taken offense towards the Republican Party because of the struggles they endured in getting on the ballot. However, to be fair, The Lt. Gov office had no prior law instructing how to respond to a resigning elected official (in this case, Chaffetz). The Gov and Lt. Gov wanted the case to go to court so a decision could be made. I also believe the Gov has wanted to keep the special election process out of the Legislature, where the GOP is more extreme. In my opinion, Gov Herbert has been balanced and fair, as has Lt. Gov Cox.

    One must understand that an elected official must balance his actions to support law, and to support the political party. There is, at times, conflict. In cases of conflict, the courts help decide the issue, which is what happened here.

    For honest disclosure, I support the United Utah Party and would vote for candidate Bennett if I lived in the 3rd district. I just feel Davis' comments may be somewhat painted to position the UUP well for the election--but doesn't reflect the full picture.

  • AlanSutton Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 12, 2017 9:17 a.m.

    To summarize the author's complaint, he just doesn't like the political party the majority of Utahns have chosen to represent them.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Aug. 12, 2017 8:39 a.m.

    It always seems to take someone at a Federal level to get Utah to do the right things. Strange, for such a divinely guided state.