Friday, January 1, 2016

Is the Signature Party Nominee Route Fair

A recent article in the Salt Lake Tribune asks some questions about the new election law.

 I don't mind talking to thousands of people at their door, but if it is going to take too many hours for one person to do that in the few weeks that are available to get the signatures, and that time is primarily during the legislative session, I would rather a legislator spend the time reading bills that they would be voting on and having town hall meetings than doing the signature route.

A federal judge has ruled that a portion of the law that passed in 2014, SB 54 Elections Amendments, is not constitutional for two political parties, the Utah Republican and the Utah Constitution parties. This part of the law requires the political parties allow voters who were not members of their party to select their party’s nominee. Because of that ruling, candidates of the Utah Constitution Party cannot use the optional signature route to get on the party primary ballot. (They don’t have enough members). They are OK with the ruling because they didn’t want the State telling their Party how to select its nominees.

Voters can only sign one candidate petition per race but might be able to sign a form to remove their signature, if they act fast enough, and sign someone else’s petition.

In some areas of the State, there are not enough registered Republican Party voters to make the signature party nominee route fair. Candidates using the signature route likely will have to register to do so prior to the legislative session and then all candidates will register after the legislative session. If someone decides to run for Party Nominee after the legislative session, there is almost no time to gather signatures.

The Utah Republican Party, who wasn’t part of the “compromise” is still contesting the law in court. A special legislative session to fix the law based on the court ruling was not called by the Governor
I have personally fought the signature party nominee route because I believe it favors the incumbents, the rich and the famous. While I am now an incumbent and plan on running for re-election after the legislative session though the neighborhood caucus and convention system, I am not also using the signature route because I do not believe that route is fair.