Utah's Neighborhood Elections force candidates to pay attention to rural areas of Utah. Direct primaries encourage candidates to ignore rural areas and communicate only by paid advertising. A direct primary would create fly-over areas of Utah that will rarely get to meet their candidates face to face.
Utah's Neighborhood Elections work to create a balance between population and Counties, similar to what the US Presidential
Electoral System is designed to do.
Why keep the US Presidential
The US Constitution provided for a
balance between small population states and large ones. This is one of
the reasons for the Senate having 2 per state and the House being
divided based on population.
The current US Presidential
Electoral System keeps part of that concept so that voters in
California, New York, and a few others do not decide who is elected,
ignoring the rest of the country.
The original system was
designed so that the electors nominated two candidates, one not from
their state, and unless there was a candidate nominated by the majority
of electors, the voting for president out of the top 5 nominees was done
by the US House of Representatives, one vote per state. If two
candidates received a majority of electors, the House would decide
between just the two. Basically, the loser of the top two became the
Vice President, who would take over if something happened to the
President. The elector college system protected every state from being
By 1796 and 1800, partly due to political party
influence, and because the public didn't want the US House to decide the
election a movement to change happened and under the 12th amendment
this was changed. One reason was to make sure the President and the Vice
President could run together. The change made it so the electors would
almost always reach a majority and therefore cast the final vote, and
because of that, most states have now required that the elector vote
based on which party they represent. Utah requires that an elector be
replaced if they do not vote per party. See http://le.utah.gov/~code/TITLE20A/htm/20A13_030400.htm
the current system, Utah having 6 votes instead of 4 gives us a slight
edge over population. Utah has decided to have a winner take all
system. If Utah were to split our vote, it would carry less weight in
the national election, but it would put Utah more in play.
the current system doesn't work as originally intended, there is still
some balance favoring smaller states, just barely enough to encourage
candidates to campaign throughout most of the country. Without the US Presidential
Electoral System , I believe that would be eliminated and I
also believe the cities with the most population would be the locations
where campaigning would occur, making the situation of ignoring parts of
the country even worse.