Friday, February 7, 2014

2014 SB 54 Elections Amendments

2014 SB 54 Elections Amendments, A proposal for the Utah Legislature to adopt Count My Vote, prior to knowing if they get enough signatures, and prior to a vote in November if they do. It provides exceptions, one of which would ruin the Same Day Ballot that the GOP is adding to increase participation for Neighborhood Caucus Election night.

Many citizens who attend their neighborhood elections and caucus meeting become interested in politics and get involved in their communities, the state and the nation. They meet and help candidates become elected. Some then later become candidates. This should be encouraged through education. SB 54, lines 796 to 800 ruins that and should be amended.  

Again, we need to amend it to allow greater participation by those that are new to the process. Delete lines 796 to 800. This will allow someone new to run the night of the meeting. We have and should have incentives to file and run for delegate or precinct chair prior to the meeting, but as drafted, the bill reduces participation.  

My letter to the Utah Republican State Central Committee:

Dear SCC members,

It is my opinion that if the proposed bill should be amended, particularly lines 796 to 800.
If not, the bill should not pass.

794 (b) permits members of the registered political party to vote for neighborhood
795 delegates remotely or by absentee ballot;

796 (c) accepts a vote cast remotely or by absentee ballot, under Subsection (12)(b), for a
797 period of not less than two days after the day on which:
798 (i) all delegate nominees of the registered political party have been identified; and
799 (ii) the name of each delegate nominee described in Subsection (12)(c)(i) is made
800 available to members of the registered political party;

The 2 day system in the bill for the caucus will ruin it.

You either can't find out that night who won any race, or
you have to file before you know who won.

Someone running for State Delete that night and losing and running for Prec. Chair or County Delegate if they lose goes away.

I have talked to Sen. Bramble last night [Tues. Feb. 4] about these concerns to no avail.

We, the SCC, have spent months coming up with a Same Day Ballot to solve the concerns and not ruin the meeting.
If not amended or deleted, lines 796 to 800 ruins the meeting.


as well as:

We have made huge improvements for the 2014 Neighborhood Elections.
For some of these, see:

For purposed of reviewing Sen. Brambles 2014 SB 54 bill, and to allow the Count My Vote language to be put directly in statute with an exception to parties that qualify for the 4 items covered in the bill, I am willing to temporarily look past many of the flaws from the initiative, since they may not apply. See:

I am opposed to changing the system we have to allow unaffiliated voters to affiliate the day of election. It has proven to decrease cross voting during a primary and still allow individuals to vote. I believe that requirement, "allow unaffiliated voters to affiliate the day of election" could be part of SB 54 on lines 792 to 793.

As you know, I am not in favor of changing the threshold percentage to avoid a primary.

I have no problem with electing alternate delegates, and we currently allow counties to do so.

If Lines 796 to 800, were modified to allow our Same Day Ballot to meet the requirements of lines 794 and 795,

we might have a bill to work with.

To replace the the threshold percentage item, the following items could be discussed:

legal notice requirements for caucus and convention and 
require election day affiliation for UAF so that law Isn't removed later. 
We could add voter info protection and 
remove straight party voting in the general. 
We could also fix the check a buck program so it comes out of the taxes of the person that checked the box instead of everyone else.

The final point is the bills timing. It is a big risk. See the critical dates from March 1st to May 15th.

Notice the bill would have to pass the legislature, both houses by March 13.
The Governor has until April 2 to sign or veto it.
The legislature has until May 12, to override a veto.

Count My Vote has until April 15 to get the signatures they need.
The county clerks have until May 1st to the 15th to verify the signatures and turn them in to the Lt. Gov. those that have requested to be removed.
The Lt. Gov. has until June 1st to decide if the number of signatures meets the law.

We do not know if between March 13th and April 15th if the number of signatures coming in will increase or decrease if the bill passes. It could either add fire to their initiative or crush it. It is a risky move. 

In a nutshell, 2014 SB 54 lines 796 to 800 must be amended or deleted before we even have something to discuss. (The 2 day requirement) it isn't the 48 hours it is the other requirements.

Fred C. Cox
Salt Lake County representative to the State Central Committee