Yes, it’s Election Day. So if you haven’t already, get to the polls and VOTE! Not sure where to vote?Look up your polling location at vote.utah.gov.
Okay, now that you’ve voted… protect the voters right to have a voice!
This election year has been a big test for the ballot initiative process, with an unprecedented number of initiatives vying for the ballot. Utah has a significantly high signature requirement that makes it extremely difficult for ballot initiatives to qualify. We also have a controversial process that allows voters to remove their signature from the ballot initiative for 30 days after gathered signatures are due and verified by county clerks.
While this provision allows another way for voters to verify their support of a ballot initiative, it also allows opposition efforts to surgically remove small numbers of signatures to defeat an initiative, preventing hundreds of thousands of voters from being able to weigh in on an issue. This is what happened to this year’s Count My Vote ballot initiative, which collected 175,000 signatures (113,000 are required), and was derailed by opponents at Keep My Voice, who removed only a few hundred signatures in key districts to defeat the initiative.
A strong solution
But one state legislator has filed a bill to fix this confusing and controversial provision by allowing signature removals to occur at the same time as signature collection and face the same final deadline. Rep. Merrill Nelson (R-Grantsville) believes the ballot initiative process is already difficult enough, and that separate deadlines are unnecessarily confusing.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
- Send a quick note of thanks to Rep. Nelson thanking him for standing up for the voters by proposing a bill to make the ballot initiative process less confusing and onerous. Email Rep. Nelson at email@example.com. Be sure to mention if you are a constituent.
- Send a second quick note to your own state representative and state senator asking them to support Rep. Nelson’s proposed bill during the 2019 State Legislative Session. Simply click here to send an email to your two state legislators.