Utah Freedom Coalition

Restore the Caucus in Utah

The Crucial Need to Restore the Caucus

It is election time, and you receive a ballot with various candidates for various offices. How does Utah determine candidates? Did you know that it is the delegates that determines who will get printed on the ballot? In the past, Utah has used the caucus /convention system for many years. This system selects the primary and general election candidates.

Click HERE to see the flyer for restore the caucus

Here is how it works

Every even numbered election year, registered voters will meet in March in neighborhood precinct caucuses to select their state and county delegates who will represent the precinct for a term of 2 years. This is where discussions and vetting take place for a meeting of the minds on who will become the best candidates.

Next, those state and county delegates will meet once a year for the party convention. On even-numbered years they will elect primary candidates for federal offices, like Congress and Senate, and state offices, like governor, attorney general, legislative candidates, and county offices, like mayors, assessors, and commissioners. In odd-numbered years the party will meet to conduct business such as deciding on a party platform and electing officials.

Then, primary elections are held to narrow down the candidates. In former years, it was usually one candidate per open elected seat that would compete with candidates from other parties. In the caucus system, if a candidate receives 60% or more of the vote during convention, they may skip the primary election and go to general.

With this system, the communities select the candidates that they feel are best to represent them during public service in a concerted and vetted effort.

The dissolution of the caucus system through the implementation of SB54

In March of 2014, Senator Bramble and Rep. McCay sponsored a bill that Governor Herbert and Lt. Governor Cox effectively signed into law on January 1, 2015. This bill is SB54. It allows non-delegate selected candidates to circumvent the precincts and delegates by gathering signatures to make it onto the general election ballot. There is no vetting of these candidates through robust discussions in neighborhood meeting of the minds

What we need to do to restore election integrity

This is problematic because signatures do not always represent the will of the people. Anyone can pay someone to gather signatures from the most unsuspecting citizens who are not fully informed on the issues nor the candidates. Furthermore, can the signatures be verified for authenticity and do they honestly support the candidate? Gathering signatures to get on a ballot without going through the hard work of being vetted to earn your name on the ballot is not in the best interest of a republican form of government. Surely the best candidates have been fully vetted by neighborhood precincts and chosen by informed and trusted delegates. For the sake of our republic in honest, fair, and represented elections, we must restore the caucus and repeal SB54.

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