Odds that ‘Count My Vote’ Gets on the Ballot

The “Count My Vote” group unveiled some impressive fundraising numbers last week, raking in more than $500,000 in their effort to change the way candidates get on the primary ballot. Our insiders and readers weigh in on the odds the proposal will ultimately end up on the ballot next year.

Selected anonymous comments:

“I hope this moves forward. I argued against moving down from a 70% threshold in the ’90s, and was disappointed by the lack of reform at the state GOP convention. The caucus system is outdated. It’s past time for a change.”“This just means that people with money, who can’t get elected when exposed to the careful scrutiny of informed and educated convention delegates, want to change the system so that they can buy their way into office using shallow sound bites and glitzy political ads.”

“The odds of success for ‘Count My Vote’ increase every time Senator Lee opens his mouth.”

“They will need over $1 million. Few understand just how complicated and onerous Utah’s initiative system is at this point. It is very easy and inexpensive to derail initiative efforts.”

“This is a determined and dedicated group who knows how to get political things done. They should have no trouble at all meeting the initiative requirements.”

“A lot of people are very upset with the caucus system. They feel it locks them out, that it’s been hijacked by extremists, and that it effectively disenfranchises Utah voters. Most current incumbents oppose the change, because the current system gives them a virtually non-contested path to re-election. What a sweet deal. But angry Utah citizens will flock to sign the petition, and it WILL make it to the ballot.”

“Since money buys votes, I think the campaign should be renamed, ‘Buy My Vote.’ This will be a tough sell when the commoners figure out that big DC lobbyists and well-funded crony party bosses and fat cats are behind this campaign to silence their voices by removing the neighborhood meetings.”

“Only a major misstep at this point could prevent CMV from accomplishing the task at hand. The caucus convention system is the greatest voter suppression system in America, Had internal efforts to become more open that were rebuffed by the delegates and central committee been approved the initiative wouldn’t have become necessary. If the political parties are unwilling to police themselves they leave the public no choice but to retool the system. Polling over the last several election cycles has shown that the public prefers different candidates than the delegates ultimately put forth, this disconnect will make CMV’s task significantly easier to accomplish.”

“Even with a lot of money the hurdles the legislature has placed in front of anyone attempting to get an initiative on the ballot will make it extremely difficult. The issue is complicated and in no way straightforward for citizens who are not actively engaged so they’ll have the added burden of convincing people.”

“They are proving that they’ll be a serious force to reckon with.”

“I hope they make it. The legislature doesn’t like to be second-guessed by the people they (sort of) represent.”

“Keep wasting your money. You are proving that this is simply an oligarchy trying to hold onto their power, by using their money to coerce people into a democracy rather than our wonderful Republic.”

“The legislature’s rules of requiring a certain number of signatures in 26 of 29 state senate districts will make it very difficult to get the necessary number of signatures.”

“The polling and evidence are clear that the vast majority of Utahns want this, and the opposition is already starting to carry the stench of desperation. The opposition will only seem more desperate as this moves forward.”

“The threshold for a citizen’s initiative is nearly impossible to meet, however given the dramatic reduction in voter participation as a state it will be interesting to see if this turns things around and gives the average citizen a new voice to be heard by.”

“The unspeakable in pursuit of the inedible. There is no perfect nominating (or indeed representative) system. The one we have works very well. But because it produced a couple of results a few onanistic dilettantes can’t abide, it is suddenly the system from Hell. The inattention paid by the average voter to the nexus between policy and politicians makes it likely that this proposal will get on the ballot and pass. Ironically, that is precisely the reason the existing system is desirable. As we move towards a plebiscitary system, we move towards a system where the wealthy, the well-connected and the news media will control the process and will benefit from it.”

“The Utah Legislature changed the law to make it more difficult to get things on the ballot. This was to make sure no one could challenge the Legislature and no one could challenge the fact that only the 4,000 GOP delegates have an actual vote. The rest of us get to suck on a lemon.

“Their odds are reasonably good. They are off to a very good start with regard to fundraising, and that is half the battle.”

“This is going to be a landslide victory for Count My Vote that is on par with with the repeal of education vouchers. The only chance the parties have to keep their caucus systems intact is in the courts. But the parties need to think about whether or not they really want to challenge a landslide victory in court.”

“That 67% threshold that Count My Vote was requesting looks mighty good now.”

“The folks behind Count My Vote are some of the most competent and affluent people in our state. They are also very motivated to free Utah’s political system from a disproportionate far right influence. When you combine competence, money and motivation you get results.”

“This proposal is the Only Solution Big Enough (OSBE) to create a political climate that will allow for higher taxes for education and transportation.”

“People want fair elections and do not want a system that favors the rich, famous or incumbents. We should keep the neighborhood elections we have.”

Respondents include – 

Fred Adams, Stuart Adams, Jess Agraz, Scott Anderson, Laura Arellano, Patrice Arent, Bette Arial, Neil Ashdown, Bruce Baird, Heather Barney, Steve Barth, Jeff Bell, Tom Berggren, Mike Bertelsen, Ron Bigelow, Emily Bingham-Hollingshead, Rob Bishop, Laura Black, Nanci Bockelie, Charles Bradley, Jim Bradley, Ralph Brown, Chris Bleak, Curt Bramble, Joel Briscoe, Ralph Brown, Aaron Browning, Ken Bullock, Ric Cantrell, Maura Carabello, Marty Carpenter, Rebecca Chavez-Houck, Kay Christensen, David Clark, Kim Coleman, Peter Corroon, Tim Cosgrove, Fred Cox, Lew Cramer, Gene Davis, Richard Davis, Brad Daw, Alan Dayton, Margaret Dayton, Mike Deaver, Brad, Dee, Joseph Demma, Jake Dennis, Dan Deuel, Jeff Dixon, Brian Doughty, Carl Downing, Randy Dryer, Susan Duckworth, Donald Dunn, Alan Eastman, Becky Edwards, Scott Ericson, Chase Everton, Jessica Fawson, Janice Fisher, Wendy Fisher, Lorie Fowlke, Ronald Fox, Claire Francis, Ryan Frandsen, Adam Gardiner, Jordan Garn, Ernie Gamonal, Luke Garrott, Dave Gessel, Sheryl Ginsberg, Natalie Gochnour, Robert Grow, Karen Hale, David Hansen, Neil Hansen, Joe Hatch, Jeff Hartley, Dan Hauser, Lynn Hemmingway, Deidre Henderson, Neal Hendrickson, Casey Hill, Lyle Hillyard, Kory Holdaway, Randy Horiuchi, Ben Horsley, Bruce Hough, Scott Howell, Greg Hughes, Miriam Hyde, Allison Isom, Casey Jackson, Eric Jergensen, Mike Jerman, Jonathan Johnson, Michael Jolley, Gordon Jones, Leslie Jones, Pat Jones, Kirk Jowers, Jeremy Keele, Brian King, Scott Konopasek, Steve Kroes, Chris Kyler, Carter Livingston, Fred Lampropoulos, Clark Larsen, Douglas Larson, David Litvack, Larry Lunt, Matt Lyon, Ben McAdams, Daniel McCay, Gayle McKeachnie, JT Martin, Maryann Martindale, Jason Mathis, Bob Mayhew, Karen Mayne, Bret Milburn, Derek Miller, Rob Miller, Ethan Millard, Brett Millburn, Karen Morgan, Jeffery Morton, Mike Mower, Holly Mullen, Wayne Niederhauser, Mike Noel, Randy O’Hara, Ralph Okerlund, James Olsen, Val Oveson, Kelly Patterson, John Pearce, Helen Peters, Karen Peterson, Frank Pignanelli, Becky Pirente, Marie Poulson, Jason Powers, Tami Pyfer, Joe Pyrah, Mike Reberg, Jill Remington Love, Lauren Richards, Holly Richardson, Robin Riggs, James Roberts, Luz Robles, Ross Romero, Carol Sapp, Don Savage, Bryan Schott, Shauna Scott-Bellaccomo, Jay Seegmiller, Jennifer Seelig, Patrick Shea, Randy Shumway, Soren Simonsen, Jeremy Slaughter, Brendan Smith, Brian Somers, Carol Spackman-Moss, Robert Spendlove, Barbara Stallone, Howard Stephenson, David Stringfellow, Mike Styler, Shinika Sykes, Juliette Tennert, Gary Thorup, Kevin Van Tassell, Royce Van Tassel, Doug Thompson, Michael Waddoups, Laura Warburton, Chuck Warren, Christine Watkins, LaVarr Webb, Todd Weiler, Alan West, Mark Wheatley, Larry Wiley, Ted Wilson, Carl Wimmer, Mike Winder, Travis Wood, Thomas Wright, Crystal Young-Otterstrom

Results from the UtahPolicy.com/KSL Insider poll can be heard on KSL Radio every Friday and are published on Utah Policy.com every Monday.