In 2011 and 2012 I had more than 1300 floor votes on bills as a member of the Utah House of Representatives. That doesn't include votes in committees. (if you combined both years, I missed the fewest floor votes of any legislator of both parties and both houses). I was in the Senate Chambers during those 5 of 1302 votes. There were also special sessions, and I didn't miss any of those floor votes).
I have read through in excess of 1000 bills to decide whether or not to vote for them or not. Whether or not you agree with the policy being submitted as Count My Vote or not, as I ask that you vote against it now.
It is my experience that most bills that reach the floor of the house pass. The bad ones are killed in committee. We have had the public hearings on Count My Vote. They (Count My Vote sponsors) have opted not to amend their "bill" or proposed law after the public meetings where they received very little public support. The proposed law stands or fails as written.
In my opinion it fails. Below is my non legal analysis of the problems with Count My Vote. (I am not an attorney) You elect legislators to vote on bills prior to them becoming law. You elect a governor to also verify and sign the bill before it become law. The legislature can override a veto. The public can veto a bill that has less than a 2/3 vote in both houses by referendum.
You are not being asked to veto a current law. You are being asked to make a new law. It has to stand on its own. You don't know if someone else is going to fix it later.
Count My Vote is asking you to sign their "bill". It is over 20 pages. Before you sign it and long before it is to be voted on, You must read it for your self. I hope the following notes help you decide to not to sign the petition and to kill this "bill" before it is to be voted on.
It is my opinion that Count My Vote is poorly drafted. It is my opinion that it creates bad policy and makes our current system worse. Based on that, there is no reason to vote for it, even if you don't like our current system. It doesn't make it better.
My Notes (very rough form, you were warned):
In a nutshell, CMV was drafted by 2 different people that seemed to ignore each other. One tries to strip the party designation away from any party that doesn't play by the new rules and nominates candidates not using the new system and the other person makes sure No One can be on the ballot unless they follow the new rules. If the Party doesn't sign up, none of the candidates will show up with the party designation, but that isn't true as if you get the signatures you are on the ballot for the party you pick. CMV allows the party to decide to opt out or not, but not really.
The unequal 2% barrier that CMV uses would likely fail in court. A Democratic governor candidate would need 2,812 signatures to be a nominee, a Republican would need 13,162. A Unaffiliated Candidate with 1,000 signatures currently and also under Count My Vote would need 1,000 to go straight to the general election.
The "bill" Count My Vote, or proposed law is flawed, terribly so. Even some of the strongest supporters admit the legislature will have to fix it if this mess passes.
has the "bill", fiscal note, and public meetings video. compare the slides from the Provo meeting and their current website. You will find they are different and that the public hearings used incorrect and confusing information about their proposal and what we currently have at best. For my opinion on the timing of the public hearings, if you missed them, see:
They can't amend the "bill" anymore. You must vote on it as it is.
Most of the current laws re: the initiatives are at:
quick stuff is here:
They missed the 3 days prior to public hearing required Lt. Gov. filing deadline per
20A-11-802 (1) (v)
They just filed their financials with the Lt. Gov. but didn't make up the previous one.
Problems with the CMV proposed law include: Line numbers are from the CMV "bill". Other references are from state law. You can look any of them up yourself at:
1. They change the status of the Lt. Gov. handling races crossing county lines. See for example lines 186 and 190, 230, etc.
2. They use 20A-6-301 paper ballots which isn't used any more (Maybe San Juan Co).
See for example lines 112 to 114. Can't forget those candidates we put way over there. :)
Tell me 20A-6-301 violates Fed. Election laws, or the 14th amendment.
3. They let parties opt out but not really. See 100, 101, They repeat is at 129, 130 ,etc. It appears that if we don't play by their rules, (line 305) our party is stripped from the ballot, but they claim if I fill out the petition with signatures I will be on the primary ballot. Line 290 says General Election.
4. They claim an unaffiliated or democratic candidate can't get on our GOP primary ballot. While it is almost clear the petition signers have to be registered party members, or at least will be by the end of March the next year, and will be registered voters, at least by then, It isn't clear that the candidate is. See line 211. The use of preferred affiliation is not defined and is used only in current Utah code to describe Smith' Cards for going shopping.
5. We get to keep the GOP primary election closed, so the unaffiliated will get to watch at home and pay almost $1 Million the first year and $900,000 for the privilege, unless they affiliate. They can do that now.
6. Rookie mistakes with "and" and "or". See line 427, 3rd word "and" and 453, 1st word "or". As we all should know, in a state law, and and or are not the same. You are guilty of X if you are going 65 MPH and driving in Provo vs You are guilty of X if you are going 65 MPH or driving in Provo. In the last case anyone driving in Provo at any speed would be in violation of the law.
[update, Line 453 is designed to be "or". It creates problems however, as discussed below. Line 427 can be "and" as noted, but with the two "or"s on lines 426 it needs to be on 3 separate lines, so it isn't confusing. This is important as this section could make it so some 17 year old future voter is charged with a Class A misdemeanor for trying to help and not realizing in November that in March their plans had changed. This is the section that is supposed to make sure people signing the nominating petition realize the criminal penalty they face for incorrectly signing the nominating petition. In this case the proposed law takes away from the clerk the ability to make it more clear and tells them the exact wording to use. We should evaluate the policy of setting up a teenager to be a criminal . We want to avoid voter fraud, but perhaps another solution should exist.]
7. There is no run off primary election. While the Deseret News in 1946
8. According to the person that wrote the fiscal note (additional cost to taxpayers if this new law is enacted), I called, about 1/2 of the $1 million will be picked up by the counties, and most of it the smaller counties. It is like a state unfunded mandate, unless the Utah Legislature decides to fund from the state to the counties.
9. Count My Vote had a conference call with the County Clerks prior to the Fiscal Note being released. I don't know if that is like witness tampering or not. If the fiscal note is low by 25%, the legislature can toss Count My Vote out the window if they choose., even if it is signed by the petition and the majority of the votes vote for it. See 20A-7-214 (2).
10. Unlike a typical fiscal note for a Utah Law, no funding is provided for this proposed law. This sounds like what they do in Washington D.C.
11. Former Rep. Spencer J. Cox has a replacement being nominated by delegates selected at our neighborhood caucus election meetings. That system will remain, it is not changed by CMV, there will just be almost no one coming to the neighborhood caucus election meetings if CMV were to pass. They are concerned we don't have enough balanced attendees now, what will happen if CMV were to pass?
12. While 2% isn't a tough number of a state house seat, it is a tough number for state wide races. Much more for GOP candidates and the democratic candidates will need fewer signatures.
13. any party endorsements would not show up on a ballot like they claim . 20A–6-301, where they have put back door loophole wording in isn’t used anymore. We use electronic voting machines or vote by mail ballots. See item 2. I am hearing the Utah Legislature might get rid of 20A–6-301 or replace it in 2014 and if so it won't be there in 2015 if CMV passes. What happens then?
I hope this helps,
PS, they "cheated" as not all of the section in whole changed are included in the proposed law.
Lines 209 to 211
I __ declare my candidacy for the office of __ seeking the nomination of the ___ party, which is my preferred political party affiliation.
Currently, a person declares their intention of becoming a candidate for a party. There is no certification when filing required as to what party they belong to, that is up to the political party. In this case, the state would take away the party's ability to control or vet or eliminate any candidate that wants to be their nominee.
Lines 209 to 211 DO NOT state that the ____ party is the party affiliation on their voter registration of the person running, it does have the words "which is my preferred political party affiliation" . I do not believe that is clear.
The person declaring their candidacy for an office, has to get signatures from people that are either now registered to vote or signing they will be registered to vote by 5pm on the final day of March. The people signing have to list their party affiliation of the registered voter. This allows someone that isn't 18 on Nov. 15th of the year before to sign their name and then later register to vote prior to the end of March of the election year.
Is Line 211 clear enough that the person signing to run as a candidate for that party, is a registered member of that party? I don't believe so. It uses the word "preferred" and not "registered". That is splitting hairs for some of the average public, but it isn't for the legislature, or Leg. Research. CMV representatives have specifically used the words Registered in response to questions. CMV uses no such word for the candidate.
The reason I even post this one, is I am tripping over one word, "preferred". Currently, there are those that have run for office as unaffiliated and I am thinking this word v "registered" leaves the door open. I would like to get feedback on this prior anyone saying that someone doesn't have to be a registered republican to run as a republican.
Party affiliation is used in statute. Registered Party is used. I can see getting a registered political party affiliation. Preferred political party affiliation is not used, nor is there anything close to it. Preferred affiliation used in the same section only refers to a "Smith Card", requirements.
You will find that in 59-12-102. Smith's cards.
for the signature sheet of the voter signing the petition it uses the term "Party Affiliation of Registered Voter". That is clear enough to make sure that party members sign the petition, with the exception of one very large loop hole:
I think it interesting that line 453 uses the word "or" and 427 uses the word "and" putting it unclear if the person signing the petition needs to be currently registered to vote or just promises under penalty of a A Class A misdemeanor, that they will be registered by the end of March. How will the candidate know that they do that?
[update, Line 453 is designed to be "or". It creates problems however, as discussed below. Line 427 can be "and" as noted, but with the two "or"s on lines 426 it needs to be on 3 separate lines, so it isn't confusing. This is important as this section could make it so some 17 year old future voter is charged with a Class A misdemeanor for trying to help and not realizing in November than in March their plans had changed. This is the section that is supposed to make sure people signing the nominating petition realize the criminal penalty they face for incorrectly signing the nominating petition. In this case the proposed law takes away from the clerk the ability to make it more clear and tells them the exact wording to use. We should evaluate the policy of setting up a teenager to be a criminal . We want to avoid voter fraud, but perhaps another solution should exist.]
"Independents and Unaffiliated voters have said they want Parties to fund their own closed primaries"
CMV does just the opposite. It prohibits parties from doing that, or selecting their own nominees, and requires that be done by the state at the state expense.
Independents and Unaffiliated voters want to vote for any candidate in a primary funded by them. They want the primaries to be "open". Lines 305 to 308 allow a party to let anyone vote in "their" state run primary, or just a specific party and whether or not unaffiliated voters can vote. That is current state law and doesn't change.
While CMV isn't a true California ballot, you are correct that there is no limit to the number of candidates that could show up on your ballot. CMV has made it a little tougher than CA to get on so their might not be quite as many. I could get 100 to sign in my own precinct and someone could do the same in the other 21 precincts and we could get 20 on the primary Republican ballot.
Mr. Owens (sponsor letter op-ed to the SL Tribune) letter is like telling the Utah Legislature it can meet, but only pass resolutions and that it can’t pass laws anymore.
Yes, the caucus convention system would remain, but it couldn’t nominate anyone for public office, except mid term elections.
His argument is pretty deceptive. He needs to realize that any endorsements would not show up on a ballot like they claim. 20A–6-301, where they have put wording in isn’t used anymore. We use electronic voting machines or vote by mail ballots.
Unaffiliated would still not vote in GOP elections. They would pay more to watch.
Who benefits under Count My Vote / Buy My Vote?
out of the $144,000 they just spent, Exoro’s got $110,000 and Donald Dun’s group got $30,000. ie the political consultants.