My View: No caucus means fly-over counties

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  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 12, 2013 8:11 a.m.

    Now that the all our nothing tea party failed. A primary to prevent tea party bitter tantrum two.

  • John Jackson Sandy, UT
    Oct. 12, 2013 8:04 a.m.

    The article prompts me to think of caucus night, and how some candidates run from one caucus to another trying to get in as many as possible. Such is possible in an urban setting, but not a rural one. A candidate for national or state office is likely to concentrate on the cities and leave the rural areas untouched. No, Connor, I cannot agree with your conclusion. It seems it is the caucus system that creates fly-over zones.

  • John Jackson Sandy, UT
    Oct. 12, 2013 12:00 a.m.

    The article causes me to wonder how many candidates for state and federal office attend the caucus meetings in the rural areas, instead of running around to the meetings in the cities, were they can run from meeting to meeting and catch more. No, I am not sure Connor has a point. It may be that the caucus system is causing a "fly-over" dismissal of rural counties.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 11, 2013 5:32 p.m.

    The only way this would be true is if outlying areas are disproportionately more involved in caucuses than urban areas.

  • Spencer W. Morgan Riverton, UT
    Oct. 11, 2013 3:24 p.m.

    Mr. Boyack doesn't seem to understand the difference between "disenfranchising" someone, and simply making their vote proportional to actual percentages. I can understand the strategic value the caucus system represents to a highly-motivated group of activist idealogues, and it's obvious that's where Connor is coming from. The fact is that the caucus system allows for a small, motivated minority to have an amount of influence over the choice of candidate that is wildly disproportionate to that group's actual representation among the populace.

    However, that's a double-edged sword. A process that depends on small, sparsely-attended meetings that political hobbyists are accustomed to controlling, are that much easier to "buy out" (due to the small numbers involved) with the exact sort of "big-money conspiracy" that opponents of Count My vote fear.

    I can say confidently I'm as much a "limit government" guy as any voice in this debate, but I don't want that being accomplished via a process is at odds with voters' intent. That only discredits the idea and antagonizes people.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 11, 2013 2:49 p.m.

    I love the way the buy-my-vote people claim "All we care is that every vote count"... but when it's pointed out that small rural communities votes will not really count, they say, "Who cares"!

    IE Irony Guy
    Bountiful, Utah

    Says, "If the so-called flyover counties can't attract enough population to gain political influence, then they should be flyover".

    Hows that for a "who cares about your vote" attitude? And he's a "Count-my-vote" guy! (or more an "anti-Caucus" guy).

    Does that sound like these people care about rural Utah's voice? No...

    The only thing they care about is getting well funded, well advertised, well coolaid fed, Washington co-opted, media darling candidates elected.

    Look at the people who are promoting it! They are all rich EX-Politicians that want to see to it that their brand is entrenched and UN-touchable at all cost!

    They don't want ANY chance of a non-coopted spoiler sneaking in there...

    The caucus and convention system preserves rural Utah's voice, just as our Representative form of government preserves the voice of small States in Washington.

  • PeanutGallery Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 11, 2013 2:02 p.m.

    Great op-ed. I agree. The caucus/convention system works fine, and getting rid of it would be an unwise, half-baked idea.

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 11, 2013 12:12 p.m.

    Chase SL,
    No, they didn't do that. They really never wanted that kind of change as it wouldn't have helped a 3rd or 4th choice candidate to make it to a primary.

    At only one time for 10 years in Utah’s history did the state depart from the Neighborhood Election, Caucus and Convention System. In 1937, a powerful democratic state senator convinced enough of the legislature to switch to an open primary. He had had two losses, a US Senate race and also for governor, because the majority of the convention delegates disagreed with his legislative voting record. But he was well known and had money.

    Many at the time felt like an open primary was his ticket to the governorship, and he did win. But the change in the system only lasted for a decade. After public and media disillusionment, and even worse voter turnout, Utah restored the Caucus and Convention System. Why go back?

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 11, 2013 9:53 a.m.

    chase SL,
    Re: "My understanding is, 'count my vote' isn't an effort to jump straight to primaries, but to require MORE delegates to support a candidate in the convention in order to avoid a primary"...

    Your understanding is incorrect. Some have recommended smaller margins needed to avoid a primary (a good thing) but that's NOT the count-my-vote initiative. Don't sign it if you think that's what it is. You have been mislead. Read the initiative.

    Go to the website and read the initiative language. You will have to dig a little to find it. But the proposal is NOT to require more delegates. It's to do away with caucuses and delegates all together and select PARTY Nominees in a primary election.

    This is the "General Description" verbatim... "This initiative amends title 20A of the Utah code to select political-party nominees through a direct vote of the people in a regular primary election".

    Hint... not just more delegate, NO DELEGATES. And no caucus meetings.

    So where do you get info about the candidates??? You guessed it... TV commercials or the news (which aren't biased at all).

  • chase SL Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 11, 2013 9:04 a.m.

    My understanding is, 'count my vote' isn't an effort to jump straight to primaries, but to require MORE delegates to support a candidate in the convention in order to avoid a primary. In other words, avoiding radicalism to hijack elections. Therefore, giving more opportunity to the general public to vote.

    By the way, I was a delegate in 2010 but wasn't able to participate again in 2012 because I was out of town the night of my caucus. There aren't any 'absentee' votes for a caucus - my sentiments didn't count. I wanted my vote to count.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Oct. 11, 2013 8:59 a.m.

    If the so-called flyover counties can't attract enough population to gain political influence, then they should be flyover. The Utah constitution is based on the principle of one person, one vote. It's unconscionable that they throw so much weight around in our political process when they represent such small constituencies.

  • #1 Champ Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 11, 2013 8:53 a.m.

    Sorry Connor, I don't listen to arguments that employ scare tactics while supporting it with quotes from the opposition on a totally different topic.

  • watchman Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 11, 2013 8:31 a.m.

    Good article, Conner. You bring out one more good reason for opposing the 'Count my Vote'

  • Sal Provo, UT
    Oct. 11, 2013 8:17 a.m.

    It's better that a few rural people are disenfranchised than tens of thousands of LDS missionaries and military personnel who cannot participate in caucus meetings. Can't wait to sign the petition to get rid of the caucus system.

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 11, 2013 12:44 a.m.

    Our current problem with voter turnout is it has not kept up with the population increases. The voter turnout keeps going up but not as fast as the population. Some of that is the younger voters, where Utah has a larger percentage of them and they aren't, as a group, as involved. We need to educate those moving in and not understanding our system.

    Many citizens who attend their neighborhood elections and caucus meeting become interested in politics and get involved in their communities, the state and the nation. They meet and help candidates become elected. Some then later become candidates. This should be encouraged through education.

    The system and the experience attending the meetings can always be improved, but the “Count My Vote” initiative isn't the way to do it. Any changes to the system the political parties use to determine their nominees should be determined by the political parties.

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 11, 2013 12:44 a.m.

    Great Op-Ed.

    We have a system that that does NOT favor the incumbent, the wealthy or the famous. This is a good thing, and should be preserved.

    The Neighborhood Election and Convention system in Utah is the best way to make sure a grassroots process can win over large amounts of money. It is the only way someone with $100,000 can go against someone with $2 million in election funds.

    We want neighbors discussing the best candidates and finding ways to improve this state and the nation. If the system is changed, we would be dropping off votes, but not meeting and discussing candidates and issues. That is what is wrong with Washington, D.C. They don’t listen to each other in a meeting. They watch from their offices. We need to change that, not perpetuate it.

  • Constitutional_Conservative CEDAR CITY, UT
    Oct. 11, 2013 12:44 a.m.

    Great article. Utah will lose it's voice completely if "count my vote" wins. It will turn elections into a game of who has the biggest bank account wins. I personally think that would be tragic for our great state!