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Developing Davis
Jan 31, 2014 | 2073 views | 2 2 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
John Pitt
John Pitt

Count My Vote: At a theater near you 


(Pitt is a Bountiful City Councilman and chair of the Davis Alliance for Public Education.)

I’ve been spending a lot of time at the Megaplex lately, but I haven’t seen many movies.  Instead, I’ve been helping the Davis Alliance for Public Education gather signatures for the Count My Vote initiative.  

Collectively, the Davis Alliance has gathered thousands of signatures; primarily among Davis County  movie-goers and grocery shoppers.  

Tens of thousands more signatures have been collected by reform-minded citizens throughout the state.  They, like me, see Count My Vote as the best way to bring real change to an election process that keeps the power to select primary candidates in the hands of a tiny number of party ideologues.    


The Count My Vote petition will put a measure on the 2014 ballot that, if passed, would allow candidates to get on future primary ballots by petition rather than strictly by party conventions.  

Like any political issue, there are pros and cons to both sides of Count My Vote that need to be debated.  That is precisely what putting the measure on the November ballot will do. Yet, the idea of letting the general public determine the primary election process has some party insiders so stirred up that they have taken a python-egg approach to the petition; crush it before it hatches.

My personal  interaction with hundreds of Davis County citizens has made it clear that there are three schools of thought regarding Count My Vote.  The largest is comprised of voters who are perplexed and put-off by party caucuses.  They favor a more inclusive process and they readily sign the petition. 

There is also a sizable number of people who are so distrusting of Utah primaries that they roll their eyes at the very suggestion of doing something about least until after their movie.  By then, the promise of open primaries leads them back to our table and they usually sign.  

Lastly,  there are a few people who castigate us for having the audacity to attempt to make the process easier for non-aligned voters.  They tell us they are glad the caucus system narrows the selection process exclusively to their brand of “informed” activist.  

Regardless of which of these three positions a voter brings to the table, I ask them the same questions that I now ask all Utah Citizens:  “Do you feel fully represented in the primary candidate selection process?  Have your political preferences and priorities been present somewhere in the slate of recent primary candidates?  Do the winning candidates, regardless of party, value your input, recognize your concerns, and honor their ethical responsibilities to Utah?”        If, like most people I talk to, you answered “no” to one or more of these questions, I invite you to come by a Megaplex theater this weekend.  The feature playing at the little table in the lobby will be “Election Reform Comes to Utah!” Starring you.   

Comments-icon Post a Comment
February 03, 2014
The "bill" Count My Vote, or proposed law is flawed, terribly so. Even some of the strongest supporters admit the legislature will have to fix it if this mess passes. (why do they not want you to read it?)

We tell public officials to kill these kind of errors in committee, not skip the public hearing, not read the bill and vote to send it to the floor of the legislature to decide if it should pass or not.

That is exactly what Count My Vote is telling people to do. Sign it, unread, and hope everyone realizes next fall it doesn't deliver. They could have amended it but chose not to and by law, can no longer amend the "bill".

This proposed law will cost taxpayers millions, $1 Million the first year and almost that every 2 years, with about 1/2 of the unfunded mandate being picked up by the less populous counties, the ones that the same proposed law will cause to be flyover places where the candidates and elected officials won't come anymore.
February 03, 2014
When Utah tried a direct primary in 1937 to 1947, it came with a run off primary, so the majority would elect the nominee. When the voting turn out and the cost drove the public and the media to reject that system - a compromise, caucus/convention and run off primary was created. We have that today. Count My Vote not only removes the nominating for general elections using delegates, it removes the run off primary system we have and nominees will no longer be selected out of a 2 person race.

The political royalty sponsors of Count My Vote loved the current system when the turnout to the neighborhood caucus elections meetings (GOP) was about 25,000, but when it exceeded 50,000 and 100,000, they no longer want that system because they no longer have the power.

They claim more people will be able to vote. A large percentage of voters will not affiliate to vote in the GOP primary election and those same people will not be able to vote in a "GOP" direct primary under Count My Vote. They will get to pay more as Count My Vote makes sure the parties will not be picking up the tab they currently do, it will be the taxpayers, unaffiliated or not.

Don't sign, just to vote on it later. Do read it. Do find out more. I trust if you actually understand what you will get, you will not sign the Count My Vote / Buy My vote initiative.
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