Saturday, September 21, 2013

A Resolution to increase Voter Participation and defend the Utah Neighborhood Election, Caucus and Convention Candidate Nomination Process

The following passed the Utah Republican State Central Committee on September 21, 2013 with none of the members voting against it.
A Resolution to increase Voter Participation and defend the Utah Neighborhood Election,
Caucus and Convention Candidate Nomination Process

We call upon Citizens of Utah , the Utah Legislature, and Political Parties in Utah to protect the
Utah Neighborhood Election, Caucus and Convention Candidate Nomination Process.

We have a system that that does NOT favor the incumbent, the wealthy or the famous. This is a
good thing, and should be preserved.

The Neighborhood Election and Convention 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 want neighbors discussing the best candidates and finding ways to improve this state and
the nation. If the system is changed, we would be dropping off votes, but not meeting and
discussing candidates and issues. That is what is wrong with Washington, D.C. They don’t listen
to each other in a meeting. They watch from their offices. We need to change that, not
perpetuate it.

We already have a "bypass" system, filing as an unaffiliated candidate. A candidate can go
straight to the general election ballot. Someone who doesn't think they can win if vetted by
average citizens asking one on one questions can still run and spend their money. Why should
they be a political party nominee if they are going to bypass their political party?

At only one time for 10 years in Utah’s history did the state depart from the Neighborhood
Election, Caucus and Convention System. In 1937, a powerful democratic state senator
convinced enough of the legislature to switch to an open primary. He had had two losses, a US
Senate race and also for governor, because the majority of the convention delegates disagreed
with his legislative voting record. But he was well known and had money.

Many at the time felt like an open primary was his ticket to the governorship, and he did win. But
the change in the system only lasted for a decade. After public and media disillusionment, and
even worse voter turnout, Utah restored the Caucus and Convention System. Why go back?

Our current problem with voter turnout is it has not kept up with the population increases. 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.
We need to educate those moving in and not understanding our system.

Many citizens who attend their neighborhood elections and caucus meeting become interested
in politics and get involved in their communities, the state and the nation. They meet and help
candidates become elected. Some then later become candidates. This should be encouraged
through education.

The system and the experience attending the meetings can always be improved, but the “Count
My Vote” initiative isn't the way to do it. Any changes to the system the political parties use to
determine their nominees should be determined by the political parties.

Keep Fair Elections in Utah. Reject the Count My Vote initiative.

Submitted by Fred C. Cox, Salt Lake County