If you haven’t been voting because you feel left out of the political process, this may be why. Utah used to have some of the highest voter turn out rates in the country. Now, often less than 50% of eligible voters go to the polls in the Beehive State. It has become increasingly clear that Utah voters think their vote doesn’t matter. And, beyond that, many feel that the candidates available to them don’t really represent their views. All this is the result of the way we select candidates for the ballot.
Where most other states have primary elections, Utah uses the convention system to nominate candidates. Candidates can be eliminated in convention so sometimes there is no primary election at all.
In an effort to increase voter participation and re-ignite citizen interest in the politics of the state, the Count My Vote initiative was passed into law, which gave candidates two ways of getting on the ballot; either through the existing convention system or gathering enough signatures on a petition.
Who stands to gain and who stands to lose with this dual system of getting on a ballot? Why did the Utah Republican party sue to have the Count My Vote law thrown out? And how well is the new law working this election cycle? We’ll attempt to answer these questions and more on the next What Do You Think Utah?
Our panelists this month will be:
Rich McKeown, Former Chief of Staff for Gov. Mike Leavitt
Phill Wright, Vice Chairman of the Utah GOP
Dan Bammes, Communications Director for The Utah Foundation
Dave Owen, Political consultant.
Come participate in the show LIVE! The panel takes place on Wednesday, May 25th at The Club at 50 West. Doors open at 6:00PM, and the discussion goes from 7:00 to 8:00pm. Food and drink are available for purchase, must be 21 to enter.