Few new laws have been as misunderstood or controversial as last year’s SB54, but now the State Elections Office has posted a FAQ web page on the dual-track candidate nomination law.
And with the flow chart on the website, many of the questions about SB54 are explained. You can see the Elections Office’s site here.
UtahPolicy has been asking questions about SB54 and how the Elections Office will interpret various aspects of the new law for months now – and the polite response from elections officials has been “we’re working on it,” or “we’ll have something soon.”
State Chief Elections Officer Mark Thomas did tell UtahPolicy two months ago that all political party officials had to do to get their candidates on the 2016 primary and general ballot was to send a certified letter saying the party was, indeed, going to participate in the 2016 elections – the same requirement political parties have had for years.
Now comes the FAQ web page, which explains in plain language how SB54 works and what political parties and candidates have to do to follow the new law.
The real kicker – and Sen. Curt Bramble, R-Provo, was extra smart in this tactic – is that if a political party wants to keep the option of having some candidates go through the caucus/convention process, the party has to do what is necessary to become a “qualified” political party.
GOP bosses in Utah – with their delegates’ approval – can choose not to become a “qualified” party – and stay a “registered” party.
But if they do that NO Republican candidates can go through the caucus/convention process in 2016. All the candidates have to gather a certain number of voter signatures in their areas to make the party’s primary ballot.
Republican Party Chairman James Evans has said for months that he doesn’t know if his delegates will make the changes to party bylaws and constitution to become a “qualified” political party.
Hey, Evans says he doesn’t know if he can have the state party become a “registered” party – although as UtahPolicy has reported Thomas says all the party has to do is send him a certified letter saying the Republican Party will participate in the 2016 elections.
In any case, take a look at the Utah Elections Office new web page on SB54 and much can be understood.