Senate Bill 54 Explained

Vote_12345SB54 is a compromise between Sen. Bramble and the Count My Vote initiative. It requires a party to choose between two paths for narrowing down candidates to one party nominee for the general election ballot.

All Political Parties Choose Between Option A or B

Option A – Count My Vote: 2% of party member signatures required for each candidate to be placed on a direct primary ballot, choice of open or closed primary.

This option is the default option for political parties.  It requires all candidates for office to get signatures from 2% of the registered voters from that party, in the area that office covers. Once the signatures are certified, their name and party would be placed on the primary ballot.  Any candidate that meets the signature requirement would be placed on the party primary ballot.

In this option, the top vote getter will move on as the party nominee for the general election.  No majority vote is required as it is a one-round direct primary.

In this option, the parties get to choose if their primary is open to unaffiliated voters, or closed to only party members.

Also, in this option candidates must only specify their party “preference” but are not required to be members of the party they wish to be nominated by.

Option B – Bramble Hybrid System: Candidates can use the party caucus/convention system or gather signatures to be placed on a direct primary ballot.  Candidates can also use both systems if they wish.

In order to use this option a party must become a “qualified political party” by meeting these conditions:

Condition #1 – Must allow unaffiliated voters to vote in their party primary.

Condition #2 – Requires party convention delegates to be able to vote remotely or permit alternate delegates.

Condition #3 – Party convention can’t be held before April 1st on even numbered years.

Condition #4 – Must allow candidates to seek the nomination using the party nomination system (caucus/convention) and/or through direct primary ballot.

In this option, the party can place a candidate on the primary ballot using the caucus/convention system.  Any other candidates that wish to be on the primary ballot must obtain signatures from party members.  For county races the requirement is 3% of voters.  Statewide races require 28,000 signatures, Congressional seats require 7,000, State Senate requires 2,000, State House requires 1,000 signatures.

The winner of the party convention would be placed on the primary ballot along with all other candidates that gain the necessary signatures. The candidate that recieves the most votes in the direct primary becomes the party nominee for the general election. No majority vote is required as it is a one-round direct primary.

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