Sen. Scott Jenkins has had it with all of the fighting about how political parties nominate their candidates. That’s why he’s proposing a constitutional amendment that would tell the state “hands off” the nominating process. Jenkins’ SJR 15 says the basic jist of his proposal would give political parties the final decision on how they pick their candidates and put them forward on the ballot.
“What it does is say political parties have their own right to decide how candidates are on the ballot,” says Jenkins. “We are protecting that right. I’m preserving our system the best I can.”
But a constitutional amendment? Jenkins admits it’s a bit of a “nuclear option” on protecting the parties, but he says it’s absolutely necessary.
“I’ve had several people tell me that if we do this, they won’t be able to run as this or that party. I say, go ahead and start your own political party. If you get enough people together you can do that.”
The state pays for and finances the election process. Jenkins says that doesn’t necessarily mean government has an interest in regulating how that process works.
“Just because the state runs and finances elections, you cannot tell the parties how to do it.”