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Senate backs bill aimed at Count My Vote initiative

Petition supporters say legislation shows 'shocking disregard' to will of people

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  • liberty or ...? Ogden, UT
    Feb. 20, 2014 4:16 p.m.

    I am sorry but I am sick of this blanket statement the will of the people and why don't I trust my neighbors vote? I challenge the supporters of CMV. I will support CMV now if you can show me that within the last 5 years 65% of all Utah citizens (Cause thats what you are requiring as a majority in this petition and why the libretarians and democrats should get a voice in who I pick for my Republican candidate)Have attended or completed at least 65% of the following-Neighborhood Caucuss,Town Hall meeting,School board meeting,Read the bills and legislation being discussed (not comments and opinions the actual bill)including SB116,Common core,ACA,net neutrality,NSA 3rd and 4th amendment proposals,attended a protest or rally,veted the candidates by meeting them face to face, going to their websites checking their voting records, emailed or contacted their congressman or senator at least 5 times (for major issues that have been in public eye) in the last five years, checked the voting records, reported to peers. Thats what I have done as a delegate. If they do this then you are informed to make an accurate decision.

  • Web Geek Lehi, UT
    Feb. 20, 2014 4:32 p.m.

    The CMV petition is fundamentally flawed. There is no provision for what to do when there is no clear majority vote. If 5 candidates are in the primary and no one gets above 50%, what happens then? Also, if a representative resigns (like Spencer Cox did to become Lt. Gov.) who decides his replacement? A special election?

    Citizens initiatives are good for repealing laws, not drafting them. Give them credit for getting the ball rolling, but SB54 is a much more fully vetted solution.

  • stevo123 slc, ut
    Feb. 20, 2014 4:35 p.m.

    If there is anything that Republican leadership fears, it is CMV and the Citizen initiative.

  • cmsense Kaysville, UT
    Feb. 20, 2014 5:50 p.m.

    I'm a big fan of CMV. These legislaters have a lot of hubris. I am a Republican but this vote is shameful. I hope voters wake up and vote supporters of this out. I hope we aren't all lemmings just because we live in Utah. If there is no room in the Republican party for moderates in Utah my vote will go else where. There are more moderates in this state than people realize and getting rid of the caucus system will show that. Gov. Herbert please veto this bill if it passes!

  • srw Riverton, UT
    Feb. 20, 2014 6:11 p.m.

    liberty or ...?:
    Please let us know where we can read the text of the bill/legislation concerning Common Core.

    Web Geek:
    Where did you hear about these fundamental flaws? Your message prompted me to read the text of the initiative at the Count My Vote web site, and it clearly says that the candidate with the most votes wins. There is nothing about requiring a majority.

  • Francis LeGuarde Sandy, UT
    Feb. 20, 2014 6:42 p.m.

    SB 54 is (at least) a couple years too late. I have no problem with the concept of a legislative compromise on a policy issue, but SB 54 looks and feels like a way to circumvent a likely-successful voter initiative. That feels as undemocratic as our caucus system!

    I would prefer not to legislate how a political party chooses candidates, but Utah's unique political demographics necessitate a fundamental change in the way our system works. If Republican primaries are the de facto general elections, it is in the state's interest to design an more inclusive process that better fosters participation.

    I understand the caucus system often produces delegates who are well-informed on issues and candidates — I respect how seriously many delegates take their job — but I can't support a system that excludes so many while placing outsized influence and power in the hands of a few.

  • D.T. Sandy, UT
    Feb. 20, 2014 7:08 p.m.

    Democratic elections aren't about making "accurate" decisions, as one commenter puts it — they are about letting people decide for themselves who should legislate and govern. For better or worse, democratically elected governments should represent the will of the people, and not just the will of people who are "educated" about candidates and issues.

    SB 54 strikes me as a tool for the legislature to override a broadly-popular voter initiative. There is no need for the "principled compromise" legislators are seeking — they missed their opportunity, and now voters intend to deal with the issue directly. Please don't get in our way.

  • Kings Court Alpine, UT
    Feb. 20, 2014 8:29 p.m.

    Another example of people who love power wishing to retain their positions.

  • high school fan Huntington, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 7:58 a.m.

    Just a thought, Is having almost 100,000 signatures the will of the people when there are3,000,000 of us in this state? Is it the will of the people when statewide candidates never have to visit a rural county ever again? And why exactly is this group spending all this money and what do they get out of it?

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 8:11 a.m.

    I sure hope there is a third party candidate running in my senate district, because I cannot vote to re-elect my senator who voted for this and I cannot vote for the dem.

  • David Centerville, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 8:31 a.m.

    I generally vote Republican. I have been a Republican delegate to my county GOP convention. I attend my caucus meetings each year.

    I support County My Vote and have signed the citizens petition to get it on the ballot. I think Utah voters should have the opportunity to vote on this because the legislature has failed to take the initiative, until now, to address troubling trends and concerns surrounding elections.

    It is too common for those in power to act in their self-interest to maintain their position and power, so it is not a surprise that the legislature has been slow to act...until they realized that the CMV effort was moving forward.

    I would be very concerned if, as was stated at the end of this article, the Protect Our Neighborhood Elections successfully voided all or most of the signatures on the CMV petition.

  • thinking out loud SLC, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 8:50 a.m.

    Rich McKeown admits to the very thing that supporters of the caucus system worry about! He basically says that we have money and connections and we'll control the messaging to the public through the media. That's what will also happen in a direct primary. Those who have the money and connections will have the influence. It's silly that this initiative is called a "citizen" initiative. It would be better renamed a "corporate" initiative.

  • Tom in MS Madison, MS
    Feb. 21, 2014 8:54 a.m.

    How is moving to direct primary thwarting the will of the people? How would putting a name on the ballot discourage participation? Plus you have several hours in which to vote, not the 1 or 2 hours of a caucus meeting, where people full of hot air throw their weight around. The powers that be are upset at this. The people shouldn't be.

  • Justmythoughts Provo, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 9:35 a.m.

    If candidates are elected directly through primary elections.....They will camp out where most of the votes are located. Rural Utah will become irrelevant. That is not what I call representation.

  • Sal Provo, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 10:07 a.m.

    Pay attention to which legislators support SB54 then vote for delegates who will not support these legislators. If my Senator makes it through to the general election I will vote for a Democrat and not for Senator Bramble. He refuses to recognize the will of the people.

  • Web Geek Lehi, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 10:14 a.m.

    srw,
    I read the 20+ page bill (something many signers of the petition probably haven't done) and didn't find any language about it. If what you says is true, are you ok with a candidate winning with 20%, 30%, or even 40%? I'm not. If a candidate is to represent my party of choice, they need to get at least a majority - 50+%.

  • wer South Jordan, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 10:55 a.m.

    As usual, those with selfless agendas like to give a title to something that misleads. IN this case, the move should be called "Buy My Vote".

    And then they like to spray it with a nice fragrance so the true stink doesn't get noticed as easily. With a pile of manure, no matter what you call it or how much you spray it, it's still "count my vote".

  • David Centerville, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 11:02 a.m.

    Web Geek,

    Past presidents of the US have not managed to garner 50% of the vote.

    If a candidate captures more votes than his opponents, then he/she is the winner.

    Justmythoughts,

    How is your scenario different for the CMV proposals as opposed to what is happening now? Representatives are specific to a geographic boundary established by political bodies. I doubt a rural candidate running for the Utah House will neglect campaigning within his area of representation.

  • Noodlekaboodle Poplar Grove, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 11:16 a.m.

    @Justmythoughts
    Then maybe it will stop the legislator from trying to neutralize my vote in SLC. The fact that the west side of SLC, West Valley, and all of western utah (Washington County to Box Elder) are part of the same congressional district is nothing more than an attempt to keep the kind of people that my neighbors and I would elect out of office. Rural Utah has got more than their fare share for years. Lets balance it back out.

  • regis Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 11:32 a.m.

    Political parties are independent entities. They should have the right to decide for themselves how they will select nominees for office. And if voters don't like the process a party chooses for selecting nominees, there's an easy alternative. Just vote for the other candidate.

    How would Mormons like it if somebody decided they didn't like the Mormon church process for choosing an apostle, and so passed a law to force a change in the process? The same could be said of Catholics and the process to choose a new Pope. It's ludicrous. These are independent organizations, and they have the right to decide the process they will use to select their leaders.

    The same is true of political parties. They are independent organizations. They should be free to follow the processes they choose. Nobody's stopping Democrats in Utah from changing their process and going to a direct primary system. That would give people a choice. They can vote for a Democrat who was nominated by a supposedly open process, or vote for a Republican who was nominated by a supposedly closed process.

    Freedom. That's America. Let freedom ring.

  • NedGrimley Brigham City, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 12:14 p.m.

    Sen. Lyle Hillyard, R-Logan, said he's protective of residents' right to run an initiative petition "but they are no more important than we are up here."

    Hmmmm. I'd have to agree. But I would rephrase that. "They are MORE important than we are up here. They put us here."

    Wasn't it Bill Cosby that used to say "I brought you into this world and I can take you out" ?

  • pby47 St George, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 12:23 p.m.

    There are also hundreds of thousands of voters who did not sign this petition. These people are guilty of the very problem they say they are seeking to correct--a minority of the people deciding policy, law, and nomination of candidates. I am opposed to this phony CMV initiative. Why would anyone want to eliminate the grass roots aspect of American politics? Utah's nominating process is as grass roots as it gets. Those opposed to it are leftist progressives who cannot bear the fact that conservatives have a voice here, are active in politics here, and dictate, to a large degree, who gets nominated for office. Leave things alone, nothing is broke, so don't do the liberal thing and go fix things that work very well.

  • NedGrimley Brigham City, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 12:48 p.m.

    I haven't made a decision yet where I stand on CMV, because I can understand the arguments and concerns of both sides. But I am concerned that there are those that would silence a group of people that are seeking, by the proper means, the right to be heard. If the caucus system is so wonderful, and the "hundreds of thousands" that didn't sign the petition are in favor of it, then nobody should get their nickers in a knot over a group asking for change. Let the chips (votes) fall were they may and find out what the true "Voice of the people" is. And lets lay off the name calling and innuendo.

  • David Centerville, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 1:05 p.m.

    pby47,

    The CMV petition is an effort to simply put this to the voters. Those who signed the petition, like I did, are not forcing any type of change to the current caucus system. It simply puts it to the voters to decide.

    So please explain how "These people are guilty of the very problem they say they are seeking to correct--a minority of the people deciding policy, law, and nomination of candidates".

    Let me be clear: If the CMV effort is successful, all that will happen is the issue will be placed upon the ballot in November for Utah voters to decide.

    Are you opposed to petitions? No?

    Are you opposed to voting? No?

    Do you trust a majority of Utahns' to vote upon a subject? Yes?

    Then you too may wish to support Count My Vote. It is simply an effort to put forward a primary voting system for Utahns to decide who will represent them. Many states use the methods proposed in Count My Vote.

    You may wish to think again.

  • NedGrimley Brigham City, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 2:00 p.m.

    David: I think the problem is there are a certain group of people that DO NOT think the majority of Utahns should vote upon a subject. Oh wait... That's an obvious one.