Public hearings for the Count My Vote (CMV) ballot initiative will begin in cities around Utah this weekend
These hearings mark the first step in the process for CMV to qualify for the 2018 general election ballot.
What is Count My Vote (CMV)?
Count My Vote is a ballot initiative which aims to replace the state’s current caucus/convention system for nominating political candidates with a direct primary election. The initiative allows all candidates in both political parties who gather signatures of at least 1 percent of the registered voters in the area they want to represent to qualify for a primary election. Since 2014, Utah’s election process has been governed by a hybrid system set in place by SB 54, a compromise reached between state lawmakers and CMV organizers (in order to halt the initiative). SB54 allows candidates gather signatures as an alternative means to bypass the political parties’ traditional caucus and convention nominating process. Recently, candidate John Curtis utilized the SB54 compromise in his political bid for election in the special Congressional District 3 race to land on the primary ballot. He won the primary and is currently the frontrunner in the general election.
However, since the passage of SB 54 in 2014, the Utah Republican Party has continually challenged the law in court and some GOP lawmakers have also sought to undo SB54 in the Utah State Legislature. These challenge measures have reignited the CMV effort, which was filed last month with Lieutenant Governor, Spencer Cox.
Polling data shows Utah voters in both parties are in favor of eliminating the current caucus-convention system in favor of direct primaries. CMV is supported by many GOP leaders, including Governor Herbert.
To qualify for the 2018 general election ballot, supporters of CMV must hold public hearings and collect more than 113,000 voter signatures in at least 26 of Utah’s 29 state Senate districts by April 15, 2018.
This weekend, you can join the conversation about CMV by attending one of seven initial public hearings around the state. See below for the nearest location.
Count My Vote hearings
10 a.m. — Logan Library, 255 N. Main, Logan.
2 p.m. — Whitmore Library, 2197 E. Ft. Union Blvd., Cottonwood Heights
4 p.m. — Utah Valley University, Sorensen Student Center, Orem.
8 p.m. — Snow College, Noyes Building, 150 College Ave., Ephraim.
10 a.m. — Uintah County Library, 204 E. 100 North, Vernal.
3 p.m. — Utah State University Eastern, Jennifer Leavitt Student Center, 414 N. 300 East, Price.
8 p.m. — Southern Utah University, Sharwan Smith Student Center, 351 W. University Blvd., Cedar City.