Utah Policy/KSL Insider Survey: ‘Count My Vote’ Deal

The Utah Legislature agreed to a compromise with the backers of the “Count My Vote” citizen’s initiative that preserves the caucus system while, at the same time, establishes an alternate path to the ballot for candidates. We asked our “Political Insiders” and readers what they thought of the deal.

Selected anonymous comments:

“Anyone thinks that Count My Vote wasn’t going to win is delusional. If you like the caucus system, then give kudos to Bramble for negotiating a deal that saved the caucus system.””No one is going to be happy. It was a back room deal to shut people up!”

“I would have definitely voted for the count my vote if I had the chance.”

“Anytime stakeholders pull together to create a compromise that addresses the major concerns of both groups, that is win-win in my book. It looks like the age-old political process of conflict-compromise-cooperation still might work. Tea Party take notice.”

“The compromise may be the best we can get right now, but anything short of ensuring an individual’s right to vote at all levels of the political process is unacceptable.”

“I have thought the compromise solution to be the best one for a long while. Glad to see it happen. But I don’t think that’s what the caucus supporters wanted. The CMV folks are probably OK with it. I just think it’s the best solution”

“The GOP convention will unfortunately become nothing more than a straw poll leading up to the Republican primary. The part of this deal that not enough people are talking about is the inclusion of unaffiliated voters in the Republican Party primary. This step actually makes the ‘compromise’ an even bigger victory for CMV and a cosmic shift in Republican party politics. A challenge by Speaker Lockhart to the right of Governor Herbert just got that much more difficult.”

“More of the same inside baseball that will benefit the inner circle of both parties. The ‘compromise’ is far more complex than average voters will ever care about. A big disappointment.”

“The caucus system is dead. It’s just going to be a little slower death than with CMV and no compromise. Stubborn Republicans screaming that there should never be ANY compromise did this to themselves.”

“The money & name recognition behind the ‘Buy My Vote’ movement won.”

“Should change political strategy, and accountability drastically. May weaken the Republican party by creating factions between party supported, and non-party supported….much like Roosevelt’s Bull Moose Party. Could be a good opportunity for Democrats.”

“I heard several legislators speak in favor of the caucus system. They were oblivious to the fact that the delegates do not represent the general population. I carried CMV petitions in my conservative neighborhood and was amazed at how many people were eager to sign because they did not feel well-represented.”

“This so-called ‘compromise’ will lead to the demise of the caucus/convention system within the next two years. The candidates that emerge from convention will become nothing more than recomendations from the delegates and people will lose interest in getting involved because they know their votes are worthless. This will not encourage involvement in government, it will suppress it because under the new alternate system only the rich and famous need apply!”

“If nothing else, I can only hope this brings an end to the various rich and powerful people who support the caucus system telling us how primary elections will only favor the rich and powerful.”

“The bugs in the bill can be worked out in the next legislative session. The big winner with the agreement — Mia Love: It takes an issue off the table that could have hurt her in the general election campaign. The big loser — Mike Lee: All those ‘non-affiliated’ voters voting in the 2016 Republican primary could be a problem for him.”

“There’s real suspense in my mind to what this might lead to. I believe candidates will begin leaning more towards using one route in preference over the other, but I just don’t know which it will be yet. I don’t believe the ‘dual track’ will last very long, and we’ll either go back to caucus/convention or embrace the primaries.”

“This is bill that would allow rich, east-side Salt Lake (or North Salt Lake in Kirk Jowers’ case) Republicans to run without actually having to direct contact with voters. Something Mike Leavitt has longed for ever since 2000.”

“CMV would have failed. The legislature bailed them out.”

“This keeps the caucus/convention system intact as a way for the political parties to vet and endorse their candidates. But it also provides a path for those who would rather not deal with the caucuses to get on the ballot. I think it is the best of both worlds.”

“Now, if the legislature will not try to water it down in the next few years, we will all be better off and more people will feel empowered to get involved in elections.”

“The Count My Vote people folded too quickly. The elected officials only came up with the compromise because they know it will pass and don’t want their constituents upset with them. They are now going to be held accountable to all of them, not just an ‘elite’ few.”

“We need to set a better example of how to show good sportsmanship when we lose a race. Our children need to see someone like Robert Bennett, stand up with a smile, shake the hand of the winner and then do all they can to help the cause along. CMV was about sore losers!”

“Sen. Bramble deserves tremendous credit for his tenacious work on this bill. The bill/law will require additional tinkering, but it will make our election system more open, competitive, transparent and participatory. Great news for Utah.”

“The caucus system will still eventually go away. Sorry about that, folks.”

“CMV could not get the signatures in the rural Senate Districts. They negotiated out of desperation.”

“Time to move out of the colonial era and get into the modern age of democracy!”

“Not necessarily a “good deal” for both sides. But both sides compromised to a point where good pieces of CMV and the caucus system were retain.”

“There will be fallout from this vote. Legislators should never let fear of reprisals get in the way of halting bad legislation.”

“I think Count My Vote got pretty much everything they wanted. The Caucus folks were lucky to escape with a caucus at all. Had party leadership not been so arrogant two or even just one year ago, they probably would have ended with a better deal.”

“Everyone comes out better except the Libertarians who have almost succeeded in hijacking Utah’s Republican Party.”

“CMV gets much of what it wants now without need for further effort and the caucus system is rescued from complete destruction.”

“The caucus system used to be good, but then it was hijacked by Washington special interest groups. The system was better when it was hijacked by Utah special interest groups.”

“Strikes an appropriate balance. Allows big money to still be able to insert their candidate while allowing the voice of the party and the people to be heard.”