SALT LAKE CITY — Proponents of an initiative to change the candidate nomination process in Utah filed ballot language Wednesday that follows a controversial compromise they made with state lawmakers in 2014.
Count My Vote leaders say the current system that allows candidates to get on the primary election ballot through the convention system or by gathering voter signatures has worked well. Initiative backers say they arrived at that conclusion after a series of public hearings.
The initiative earlier proposed to do away with Utah's caucus and convention system in favor direct primaries.
They say the new initiative will enhance and protect its 2014 compromise, approved by the Legislature as SB54, and provide Utah voters, political parties and candidates with more choice and increased access to the ballot.
The updated initiative language keeps the caucus and convention method of party nomination. It also simplifies and reduces signature requirements to improve ballot access, and provides a runoff process if needed in multiple-candidate primaries, according to Count My Vote.
Candidates in Utah would be free to choose between accessing the primary election ballot by gathering signatures, political party nomination or both.6 comments on this story
Count My Vote filed the final initiative language with the lieutenant governor's office, which oversees state elections.
Once the initiative gets the go-ahead from the state, more than 113,000 signatures from at least 26 of Utah's 29 state Senate districts will have to be collected and certified by next April 15 to qualify for the 2018 ballot.
Meantime, the Utah Republican Party is continuing its efforts to overturn SB54 in the courts. The Utah GOP's governing State Central Committee voted last weekend to fund an appeal of a federal court decision upholding the law using outside rather than party money.