Understanding why Count My Vote divided the GOP

In late May, Lt Governor Spencer Cox announced that the petition submitted by Count my Vote did not qualify for the November ballot.  That means the issue remains politically contentious and expands the divide within the party beyond this election cycle. A recent Utah Policy poll[1] says that only 10% of Utah voters “strongly oppose” Count my Vote.  Why are 10% of voters so engaged and angry about this and why it caused such intense feelings and division in the Utah GOP? I strongly support the delegate system for nominating…

The caucus is dead and the delegates killed it

I’ve long been a very strong supporter of the caucus system for choosing party nominees and a vocal critic of the Count My Vote effort to circumvent it. But I’m also a political realist, someone who sees what the playing field is like and knows when you have to adjust your tactics. Sadly, the most ardent supporters of the caucus system seem to be pretty clueless in this regard. In fact, I’d argue that it’s already dead, they don’t know it, and they did most of the work to kill…

Problems with the caucus

If we are going to be able to keep the caucus system relevant then we need to have an honest discussion as to what needs to be modified. While there probably isn’t a perfect system, there are some definite improvements that can be made. It is really interesting to consider just how many of the problems listed here can also apply to actual elected officials, not just delegates. I see far fewer of these problems with actual elected officials though. I have seen too many caucus supporters claim that the…

Keep the caucus

With two recent events, it is time to reevaluate the caucus system. Chris Herrod, the winner of the Republican Special Convention, lost by almost 11% in the GOP primary to replace Jason Chaffetz. Count My Vote has announced that they will seek a ballot initiative to completely get rid of the caucus system in 2018. We must examine how to keep the caucus system alive and relevant or we will lose it. Many are trying to find ways to close any other path to the GOP nomination with Herrod’s defeat.…

If you want a better electoral system, ignore Count My Vote

I’ve long maintained that the Count My Vote proposal (and SB54 co-opting) are complete dumpster fires for the state’s electoral system. The entire fight is nothing more than using state law to try and determine who gets to be Utah’s kingmaker of the Republican Party label. CMV has done a pretty good marketing job to convince everyone that their king-making process, restricting ballot access to those with the deep pockets to collect signatures, is the superior way to do it. Unfortunately, the caucus system dropping their primary threshold down to…

An open letter to Republican state delegates about misleading campaign messages

Dear Delegate, It has recently come to my attention that certain elements inside the Republican Party are working hard to make sure that you vote for their hand-picked candidate. The clues are very subtle, but if you know what to look for, you will soon discover the clues this cabal is using to manipulate you into doing exactly what they want. Here are the subtleties that they are hiding from you: Margaret Dayton’s recent mailer refers to her as “Utah’s Iron Lady.” This sounds like a good thing until you…

The Mero Moment: Reclaiming enlightened civic participation – May 5, 2016

While I have long supported Utah’s caucus and convention system, I’ve made no secret about my concerns. As with freedom itself, our caucus and convention system requires enlightened people. When the people aren’t enlightened, the system breaks down. We need to be careful in our analysis of the caucus and convention system. We need to be discerning. The biggest mistake we can make is to confuse the honest voice of the people for the politics of marginalization just because we don’t like the winners and losers. Many people think the…

Neil Walter: Why we need party conventions

The State of Utah and more particularly the Republican Party have been in the throws of a knock-down, drag-out fight over the nomination process for candidates. Count My Vote initiated a movement to replace party conventions with primaries. The movement spawned Senate Bill 54 which allowed candidates to choose between collecting signatures with the option to bypass the party conventions and still appear on the primary ballot or securing enough votes at the party convention as a requirement to appear on the primary ballot. Count My Vote proponents want to…

Rep. Jeremy Peterson: CMV cracks the edifice of Utah’s caucus-convention system

After this year’s experience at the Weber County Republican Convention, I had some time to reflect on what happened and what it means for the future of politics in Northern Utah and the State at large. Three Republican candidates submitted their names to run for the County Commission seat up for grabs this election cycle.  Brad Dee, Caitlin Gouchner, and Jim Harvey threw their hats into the ring.  In a typical year, the three names would be winnowed down to one by delegates elected to attend the County Republican Convention.…

Three ways to fix the Utah GOP’s online voting experiment

There are always some flaws to be found and lessons to be learned with any new experiment, and unfortunately there are times when you can’t fully test a system. Yesterday’s digital caucus was one of those times. While some voters had a good experience, others didn’t get a PIN or weren’t able to log in due to loads on the system. This was essentially a live beta, and it has shown some benefits. Unfortunately the processes and realities of voting left it showing some large and concerning issues as well. If…