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Bills take aim at Count My Vote compromise

First Published      Last Updated Feb 09 2015 11:01 am

A pair of bills that seek to undo — or at least delay — a compromise struck last year to change the way parties choose their candidates is headed to the full Senate.

Sen. Scott Jenkins, R-Plain City, said he doesn't support the deal that legislators struck last year with organizers of the Count My Vote movement, which sought to put a measure on the ballot changing the party nominating process.

So Jenkins is sponsoring a constitutional amendment, SJR2, that would give political parties complete authority over how candidates are nominated. It would require passage by two-thirds of both the House and Senate to go on the 2016 ballot for voter approval.




Jenkins' other bill, SB43 (first substitute), would postpone implementation of the Count My Vote reforms until the 2018 election. That would give parties a chance to comply and a judge an opportunity to rule on the legality of last year's reforms, which are challenged in a Utah Republican Party lawsuit.

The Legislature adopted SB54 last session, which lets candidates get onto the primary ballot by gathering signatures rather than going through the party's caucus-and-convention system. It was part of a deal struck with Count My Vote, which sought an alternate path to the ballot, arguing the nominees for office don't represent the average Utahn, which drives down voter turnout.

Both of Jenkins bills were approved by a Senate committee Friday and sent to the full Senate for further consideration.

By Robert Gehrke

 

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