A bill moving through Utah’s Senate may put to rest some controversy surrounding how political candidates get on the ballot.
A previous bill (SB54) passed in 2014 guaranteed that any candidate with enough signatures could get on a ballot. But Utah’s Republican Party hasn’t been happy with it.
They argued that it took power away from the party nomination process. And even took it to federal court. They lost.
“It’s the people’s ballot not the political party’s ballot," says Republican Senator Curtis Bramble who sponsored SB54.
While Bramble wants to make certain that ballots are not under the control of political parties he’s also introduced a new bill (SB114) that might resolve his own party’s concerns.
“This bill is really meant to be a safety valve in the event that you have a number of candidates in a high profile race and the public doesn’t have a clear choice," says Bramble.
SB114 would create a runoff election in the event that no candidate gets more than 35 percent of the vote. Which Bramble says is unlikely but possible.
It also moves the candidate filing period from March to the first week in January.
The bill has received unanimous support thus far and will now continue to a final vote in the Senate.