Why Keep the Utah Neighborhood Caucus and Convention System?
The caucus 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 have a system that that does NOT favor the incumbent, wealthy or famous. This is a good thing.
Our only problem with voter turnout is it has not kept up with the population increase. 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. Some of that are those moving in and not understanding our system.
If you are going to run as a Democratic candidate, you have to comply with their rules. If you are going to run as a Republican, you have to comply with their rules. If you want to run and not have those rules, you can run as an unaffiliated or independent, or run as a 3rd party candidate. “Count My Vote” is attempting to change all party rules by changing state laws by initiative, thus bypassing the political parties and the Legislature.
We already have a “bypass” system. It is called filing as an unaffiliated candidate. You go straight to the general election. So if Mr. Jowers, or Mr. Leavitt don’t think they can win if vetted by average citizens asking one on one questions, they can run that way and spend the money. Why should they be a party nominee if they are going to bypass the party?
When people realize this “Count My Vote initiative will give them less of a chance to participate but give media and power brokers more power, they will not sign any initiative. This is a power grab by Lobbyists, and those that want to run for office but don’t believe they can win if vetted by average citizens asking one on one questions.
I ask you to read these two Op-Ed articles I have written, in defense of Fair Elections in Utah:
We need to coordinate with college and university campuses in Utah so students know where their caucus meeting is, and where Utah residents can register to attend and participate.
We could make sure that neighborhood caucus meetings could be done in two hours, and the election results distributed not just to the county and state parties, but to those who missed the caucus, so they can learn who represents them and who to contact to make their views known. Any person who got a babysitter for two hours to attend a caucus meeting should be able to vote within that time frame.
The present system does not protect the incumbent, the wealthy or the famous.
Keep fair elections in Utah.