Utah’s current law related to primary elections is in need of repair by our Legislature. It’s broken because there are no runoff provisions for primary elections. Without a runoff, primary election voters can see less than a majority select their party’s nominee for the general election.
It hasn’t always been a problem. Utah’s primary election laws need to be updated to address the new reality of gathering signatures to be able to appear on the primary ballot.3 comments on this story
The 2017 special election in Utah’s 3rd Congressional District provided a real-world example of how the new status quo functions. Three candidates were on the primary ballot seeking to be the Republican Party nominee in the fall election. None of the three received more than 50 percent of the vote. The candidate with 43.3 percent of the vote became the Republican party nominee. Said another way, 56.7 percent of primary election voters didn’t vote for their party’s nominee. This is what needs to be fixed.
I hope many other concerned citizens will raise this issue with their representatives in the state Legislature. Election laws have real consequences.