A quick look at the Count My Vote website lists the following concerns about our current system: Outdated, Lower participation (voter turnout), Limited access, restrictive, can’t come that night, can’t vote, delegates are extreme and that is who the candidates and elected officials are held responsible to.
For some quick answers as to why you shouldn’t sign their initiative, see:
For some more, lets look at a few of their claims:
Outdated, as in the constitution? The constitution was based on local participation of voters to make sure the government was accountable. Local townships with frequent votes were the norm. The Federal Government is now trying to run our lives and is working to take over what the State was supposed to do. Local Government is being ignored. We need more people involved and not less. CMV reduces local neighborhood involvement, not increases it.
They go back to the 1800’s, but they forget that the system we have is a compromise after trying a better than CMV direct primary. When Utah tried a direct primary in 1937 to 1947, it came with a run off primary, so the majority would elect the nominee. When the voting turn out and the cost drove the public and the media to reject that system – a compromise, caucus/convention and run off primary was created. We have that today. Count My Vote not only removes the nominating for general elections using delegates, it removes the run off primary system we have and nominees will no longer be selected out of a 2 person race.
They also ignore that Utah’s 10 year trial with a direct primary was to get a Democratic State Senator President elected either to the US Senate or Governor. That worked. Who are we changing the system back to the 1940’s for this time?
Voter turnout can be effected by the age of the voters, strength of one party over another, or the percentage of move-ins to the state. CMV and those that they quote, have assumed the lower turnout has been due to the threshold required to avoid a primary, (fewer primaries) but have ignored the other factors listed as even a possibility. Compare Utah to other states with a dominate political party and our voter turnout looks normal. If it was the number of primaries that was the reason, why did we have such a low turnout in 2013 with the City races? That had nothing to do with the caucus/convention system.
Limited access? If a person thinks a party is too much a barrier to get to a ballot, they can run directly in the general election as an unaffiliated with 300, 5% or 1000 signatures, depending on the size of the race. 300 for local or 1000 for states wide is the maximum. CMV sets that at 2% based on the party voters, and depending on the size of the race and the party, it can vary to as large as 13,000 signatures for all state races for the GOP or 1/90th of that for some other parties. It actually creates a larger barrier than we have now.
Can’t come that night? CMV has totally ignored and refuses to even admit that the Utah GOP has Same Day Ballots for 2014, which solves the mom with the sick kids or the firefighter that had to work or the military/mission voters.
Extreme? There are differences between polls between delegates and non delegates. Sometimes it is because the delegates have taken the time to meet the official or candidate personally or have asked a typical question. For example according to a Dan Jones Poll leaked this month, current Utah State Delegates have a higher opinion of Gov. Herbert than the average Republican voters. Is that extreme? For 2012 they picked Gov. Herbert over Morgan Philpot, Mia Love over Carl Wimmer and almost picked Orrin Hatch over Dan Liljenquest as the nominee. States with direct primaries actually have had more problems with extreme candidates.
We have a system that that does NOT favor the incumbent, wealthy or famous. This is a good thing.