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…

Rep. Jeremy Peterson: QUALITY CONTROL: The case for partisan candidate-specific voting

I recently signed on as the Republican co-sponsor of a bill to change our ballots to allow only candidate-specific voting in partisan races.  This bill would stop the practice of ‘straight ticket’ voting. HB119 is sponsored by my House Democratic colleague Patrice Arent.  FOX 13 recently interviewed her and the Republican and Democrat Party Chiefs.  Here is that video: Straight ticket voting allows a person to vote for a political party rather than a candidate. While at first glance this seems like a reasonable thing to permit, in the end…

Popular democracy can be bad government

Ballot initiatives are often championed as a “check” by the people, for the people. A taste of direct democracy to offset an unresponsive legislature or city government. In Utah, initiatives have brought down a flawed plan for school vouchers, attempted to ensure independence in redistricting (Fair Boundaries) and ethics (UEG), and greatly influenced popular election changes (Count My Vote). But are they a good way to govern? While the 2007 fight over vouchers stands as positive example of voters rejecting a legislative process, if not the idea of school vouchers…

Want your driver’s license? Register to vote, first.

In a year when Utah elected the first black, Republican woman (and a Mormon, to boot) to Congress , the Beehive State still only managed to turn out an estimated 40% of registered voters to the polls. That’s about 27% of the total population of the state weighing in on who should represent Utah to the US Congress, the Utah Legislature, county councils, and commissions. In other words, only one in four people in our state are contributing to selecting the politicians who will vote on taxes, regulate business, fund roads and…

Salt City Throwdown Podcast – EP 035: …And Justice for All?

It was a busy week. Everything was going along swimmingly until The 10th Circuit Court of appeals dropped the mic and reaffirmed what we and almost everyone else knows. Gay Marriage is the right thing to do, it is fair, and there is no basis to ban it. That would have been cool, but they dropped it in the middle of Charles Stormont making his campaign kickoff. Then we spend a half hour talking to Kate Kelly. Kate is the founder of the Ordain Women movement who earlier in the…

Buzz: Legislators are considering instant runnoff voting (IRV) in 2015

Hot on the heals of the Count My Vote changes to Utah’s nomination system that in SB54, passed in the 2014 Utah Legislative Session, the rumor mill is churning with a possible change to primary elections as early as 2015. Our sources say that Republican legislators are mulling a change that would implement instant runoff voting (IRV). IRV is similar to the multiple rounds of voting method currently used in the caucus/convention system by the major political parties in Utah. In IRV, voters rank the candidates on their ballot in…