The 2018 ballot in Utah could be one of the most policy-heavy choices for voters in years. There are six citizen ballot initiatives vying for a spot in November.
To secure a spot on the ballot, backers must gather more than 113,000 signatures statewide, including total signatures equal to 10-percent of the 2016 presidential vote in 26 of the 29 Utah Senate districts. Needless to say, that's a very high bar to clear. Those signatures must be submitted for verification by April 15.
We asked our "Political Insider" panel and readers which of those six initiatives they thought had the best chance of securing enough signatures to make the 2018 election.
The proposal to legalize medical cannabis and "Count My Vote," which keeps the current dual-path to the ballot for candidates were given the best chance to make the ballot. The "Our Schools Now" proposal, which raises income and sales taxes to boost school funding was also given a good chance of going before voters.
The plan to create an independent redistricting commission was given a slightly better than 50-50 shot by our readers, but not our panel. The proposal for Utah to take full Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act was not high up on the list of likely ballot measures.
The "Keep My Voice" proposal to make the caucus/convention system the only way for candidates to get on a political party's primary ballot was ranked dead last by both groups in the likelihood of making the ballot.
Selected anonymous comments:
The only problem here is that the Legislature has made it so hard for ordinary citizens' voices to be heard. Of course, it would be helpful if they would listen a bit more to their constituents, including even those who are not on the far-far-far-right.
After the many attempts to impede the Count my Vote/SB 54 compromise, everyone is going to be playing for keeps with these initiatives.
Can’t wait for the caucus zealots to act so surprised when they realize nobody cares about their silly “Keep My Voice” nonsense. I bet they won’t even crack 25,000 signatures.
Hope redistricting makes it. It may be the most important of them all in the long run.
Legislators are slow to keep up with an instant world. Look forward to more legislation via petition in the future if legislators don't learn to listen to their constituency.
Let’s hope voters are smart enough to see through Keep My Voice, the childish attempt by Republican Party insiders to turn back the clock.
Too many initiatives! People will probably just throw up their hands and vote no on all of them!
Count My Vote is almost finished getting signatures. The medical cannabis issue has a lot of public support and should make it providing they don't run out of money. I think the Keep My Voice people will learn there isn't a lot of support for their effort to retain power in the hands of the delegates. That is why they are resorting to trickery to try to fool people with their name.
Those "Keep My Voice" folks are so adorable. Ill-advised and delusional, but adorable.
Only three will have the financial resources to get the signatures: cannabis, Count My Vote, and Our Schools Now. The new apparent financial benefactor for the Keep My Voice initiative could add that one to the mix, but so far all he's done is provide public promises of cash (probably in the vain hope he can attract other wealthy donors - lemme know how that works out for ya . . .). Until he actually starts to write checks in six figures, that initiative stays on my "not gonna happen" list.
The best way to get your bill passed is just to claim that you have the signatures and then have Curt Bramble craft a bill giving you everything you want and have him cram it through without having to prove if you really have the signatures or not.
"Count My Vote" will edge out its counterpart. "Our Schools Now" will be on the ballot, but can it pass? Most voters that I talk too are sick of our severe gerrymandering problem in the Beehive State. I don't have any idea about the other two. "Count My Vote" and "Our Schools Now" have lawmakers worried-trust me... and rightfully so.
Nobody has approached me about signing any petitions, and it's a good thing too because my answer will be NO!
Keep my Voice will only get on the ballot if they use misleading information.
Time to clean house in the legislature. Our reps don't seem to represent us very well.
This just goes to show if you have enough money to pay a signature-gathering company to get the needed signatures and control the narrative, any average Joe citizen can get whatever they want for a ballot initiative.