Count My Vote initiative leader: 'There's nothing that will stop us'

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  • Dave Duncan Orem, UT
    Aug. 6, 2013 9:41 p.m.

    No one is opposed to having their vote count. But this initiative is a trojan horse that will accomplish just the opposite. Only money will count.

  • coltakashi Richland, WA
    July 25, 2013 5:19 p.m.

    While it is nice to aspire to direct democracy through caucuses, the fact is that minority groups that are better organized ahead of time have an edge in getting their candidates on the ballot. The caucuses can be a grueling process in which it takes hours to come to decisions, and political strength is awarded to the group that is the most stubborn (not the most democratic, or wisest, or kindest).

    Why not let someone interested in running have time to gather signatures supporting his or her placement on the primary ballot (perhaps in order of the number of signatures), with a basic cutoff based on a minimum percentage of voters in the district that is to be represented.

    The use of the Washington and California style ballot, with the top two primary vote getters running in the general, regardless of party, tends to eliminate the minority party in any district where it is not a strong minority.

    You might consider allowing voters to mark their 1st, 2nd and 3rd choices! If their 1st choice is not in the top 3, their 2nd choice would be counted, and so on, as if there were extra elections.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    July 25, 2013 3:49 p.m.

    Re: "The only reason turnout was high at the last caucus was because of outrage . . . .

    Actually, it was because of the First Presidency letter encouraging everyone to participate, and had nothing to do with outrage.

  • Bob Pomeroy Bisbee, AZ
    July 25, 2013 2:44 p.m.

    ceding the power to nominate to a few people, whatever they call themselves, reduces democracy. An open vote with top 2 (or 3) going to general election will be best.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 25, 2013 11:44 a.m.

    As if people have the ability to take hours out of their day (when they probably have jobs) to go a long distance (especially fi they don't have a car) to a caucus location to spend hours probably to end up in a group with some friends who just vote for one of themselves to be a delegate. Yeah, that sure is appealing and convenient...

  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 25, 2013 10:43 a.m.

    Political parties are private entities, they and they alone should run their organizations. Mike Leavitt has a "lean and hungry look" politically.

    Mr. Leavitt could form his own party, hire Mr. Webb to write snappy e-mail messages and slogans in support of their candidates and slug it out at the general election with the Democrat and Republican and the other parties.

    I think that not voting is a vote for "whatever" and I accept that decision. Ignorant, uninformed and lazy voters are the bane of our republic, and will be it's demise.

    Perhaps Mr. Leavitt could spend more time with Mr. Bush on his ranch in Texas, and leave the rest of us alone.

  • dalefarr South Jordan, Utah
    July 25, 2013 9:38 a.m.

    Actually, the unfair and outrageously high requirements for initiative petitions imposed by the republican legislature will stop them.

  • Prodicus Provo, UT
    July 25, 2013 8:53 a.m.

    Utah_1, your third comment was almost word-for-word identical to one you've posted on every article even remotely related to the caucus system for the past seven months. With four comments on every such article, you must have posted hundreds of times and spent a considerable number of hours on this. You and a handful of others can manage to dominate the conversation here on the DeseretNews fora and control the message, but the fact is that most Utahns want reform.

    The caucus system is broken. I've been to a bunch of caucuses and they are dysfunctional affairs that result in completely unrepresentative government and disenfranchise normal citizens. The people who are interested in preserving the caucus system are primarily those who fear that with fair elections they'd lose their grasp on power. (Yes, that includes Dabakis and some other Democrats as well as most of the state Republican party establishment.)

    The only reason turnout was high at the last caucus was because of outrage over the way the previous Republican convention had run roughshod over the will of the majority in Utah. Most of those caucusgoers would rather see a primary.

  • JMT Springville, UT
    July 25, 2013 8:35 a.m.

    Let me throw in a second note. If you track the caucus and the primaries they have produced mostly consistent results.

    Over the past 10 years there have been several high profile races that produced very similar results between the caucus and the primary. Results such as Throckmorton v Cannon, Hatch v Lilenquist tracked very closely to poll results. Even Bennett's loss was not a shocker.

    There have been a couple that did not track, and low and behold that is muscle behind this effort. Walker running for re-election for Governor is likely the biggest one. That is a Mike Leavitt partner.

    Don't forget what happened though. She replaced Leavitt when he went to work for W Bush. She first made it VERY clear she was not going to seek re-election then at the 11th hour changed her mind after half a dozen excellent people formed campaigns. It was her own fault, not the caucuses.

    Finally, Leavitt has a very checkered record with the GOP. He early years were spent in the Dem party and he openly runs as the Teachers Unions candidate. He is working to overcome his political choices by changing the process.

  • JMT Springville, UT
    July 25, 2013 8:24 a.m.

    I am just dismayed at what is happening here. Just look at who is pushing this 'populist' effort. It is a who's who of big money politics. If Utah is foolish enough to buy into this they will join the rest of the nation, and look what that has generated.

    Utah has a system that leads to the best managed state in the country, year after year. The highest performing education system based on value (large families, doing amazing things with resources spread thin.) And a massive turnout during the entire election process.

    I've managed campaigns in other states. What you are doing is turning your entire political system over to the super wealthy and/or the politically connected. You are destroying the grass roots system.

    And once you've done that and you realize you have to be worth millions to run OR connected to the political will cry 'what have we done!'

    ...but who will listen to reality versus populism and what feels good.

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 25, 2013 7:38 a.m.

    The political parties should nominate the best candidates they have, not the richest candidates. You are correct that if we scrap the current system, you are saying you have to be rich to run, or tied to lobbyists. The caucus system is an equalizer to a point, something the power brokers want to get rid of.

    Utah has a large population that votes Republican. What you don't point out with the mufti-candidate open primary elections, is that Utah would get 2 Republicans on the general election ballot for everywhere but Salt Lake County. That is not a good thing. We need the choice. This is one reason the democratic party voted to keep the caucus convention system, and will fight the open primary system that is used in states that are going bankrupt.

    Keep Fair Elections in Utah, keep the nomination vetting by the people in our neighborhoods, keep the caucus and convention system.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    July 25, 2013 5:12 a.m.

    Re: "The goal of the Count My Vote effort is to turn around Utah's declining voter participation."

    No, it's not.

    The goal of the initiative is to ensconce machine politics at the top of Utah's political food chain, and ensure cynical political power-brokers, well-heeled business interests, and incumbents, perpetual, unhindered power to select those they deem worthy to represent Utah's voters, rather than permitting the people of Utah to do so.

    Assuring that Utah's election results are pre-determined by back-room deals among political elites is a really bad way to "turn around Utah's declining voter participation."

  • My2Cents Taylorsville, UT
    July 25, 2013 3:56 a.m.

    I have to apologize about voting date because of my misinformation about the date change to cause decline in turnout.

    The Caucus system has no merit or no basis, it limits choice and no accountability and limits peoples right to control our government. The Caucus system are predetermined policy mandates one person or group wants to simplify control and polls. The problem with that process is that when in office the elected must make choices on every issue and that is their Achilles heel. Caucus is narrow minded choices for apathetic elections. When you limit choices you increase apathy and decrease voter turnout and we need unlimited choices to increase voter turnout. More candidates and more choices on election day will better serve the people, its time to forget government as the ruling class.

    Those people who fear mufti-candidate elections do so for fear of personal financial reasons. An honest rich person is more favorable than a dishonest poor person who would sell out his country for his 30 pieces of silver. An independently rich person is more trust worthy than liars who accumulates and amasses millions he must repay in kind for donations that come with conditions.

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 24, 2013 9:57 p.m.

    It is the lobbyists, political power brokers, media, and those who don't believe they can win if vetted by the average voter that are behind this.

    The neighborhood caucus system actually puts more power in the voters. Without it, you will be able to vote, but you will not have any say on who is on the ballot. We have a system that doesn't favor the rich, the famous, or incumbents.

    When people realize this "Count My Vote initiative will give them less of a chance to participate but give media and power brokers more power, they will not sign any initiative. This is a power grab by Lobbyists, and those that want to run for office but don't believe they can win if vetted by average citizens asking one on one questions.

    If you are going to run as a Democratic candidate, you have to comply with their rules. If you are going to run as a Republican, you have to comply with their rules. If you want to run and not have those rules, you can run as an unaffiliated or independent, or run as a 3rd party candidate.

    July 24, 2013 9:27 p.m.

    Anything that takes power from the party officials and puts it back with the voters will get my full support. The party officers would have you believe the convention delegates are the only ones wise enough to not fall for the big money candidates. They claim to protect us from our lack of intelligence. There has to be a better way, one that puts more responsibility with the voters.

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 24, 2013 9:04 p.m.

    Check out #FairElectionsUT
    We need the one on on vetting of candidates.
    We need to move the primary electios 3 more weeks later.
    The last time Utah got rid of the caucus system it was for some candidate that didn't think he could win if vetted by the average voter. Utah gladly went back to what we have 10 years later.

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 24, 2013 8:28 p.m.

    There is nothing that will stop you? Bunk.
    I will and anyone else that wants fair elections in Utah
    We have a system that doesn't favor the rich, the famous, or incumbents. The caucus and convention system is the only way someone with $100,000 can compete against some one with $3,000,000.
    We have a bypass system. Run as an unaffiliated. If you change the primaries, we will get two republicans or two democratic candidates in the General election. And this is a good idea. We keep getting more and more people voting. It just isn't keeping up with the population. The younger voters need to be more included. Utah has a higher percentage of those. Some of those that are new don't understand the system.
    We had 120,000 republicans come to the caucus last year. We don't need the lobbyists behind the count my vote group have more power

  • Linus Bountiful, UT
    July 24, 2013 8:13 p.m.

    If you want career politicians to monopolize seats in Washington until their dementia finally ends in their obituary, then help these clowns put an end to the precinct caucus and state convention system of governing parties and choosing candidates.

    I am one who would like to return to citizen government as envisioned by the Founding Fathers. Politicians won't take care of the folks back home until they see themselves returning to their real careers among the folks back home. Do you really like having a "for life" resident of Washington D.C. representing your district?

  • ProudUtahn St. George, Utah
    July 24, 2013 6:48 p.m.

    I agree with what Madden said about the caucus system. I have tried for many years to get people to attend their parties caucus (their choice). I have noticed some only attend when a relative or friend is running for office or they have a special issue then their are those who do not want to spend the time. Then all I hear is complaints about the process and who was chosen.
    If we want change we have to get involved and I believe the caucus system is still the best for the average citizen to obtain office. One of the main problems with politics is the mud slinging and lack of honest talking points on the true issues. I have friends I would never vote for in a election due to their political position but I would never attack their integrity.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    July 24, 2013 5:56 p.m.

    They are still mad about losing Bennett. Now they want to take it out on us. I for one am not buying.

  • Madden Herriman, UT
    July 24, 2013 5:06 p.m.

    Who cares? This won't fix anything. The caucus system purportedly leads to more extreme views, but other systems simply lead to candidates who are wealthy (and can buy name recognition) or who already have name recognition. The bottom line is that by the time anyone in the general public has a chance to vote on candidates, 90% of the issues have been decided. At least with a caucus system, if the general public would stop being lazy and actually got involved, they could make a difference. You could follow a republic form of representation. But this is America, where we watch the political scene erode and our answer is to disengage rather than rise up. And this is Utah, where otherwise thoughtful people still fall prey to voting on one-liners and slick marketing just like everywhere else.

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    July 24, 2013 5:06 p.m.

    The GOP has an effective monopoly on politics in Utah. That is the primary reason voter turnout has dwindled: against a monopoly, people feel either apathetic or hopeless. My vote does not make a difference.

    A more balanced, bipartisan or multi-party system would encourage voter turnout. Republicans must release their death grip on politics in this state, or voter apathy and disenfranchisement will only continue.

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    July 24, 2013 4:14 p.m.

    Where do I sign.