The chair of Utah’s Republican party says it will now be up to the public to decide on a direct primary system after the re-launching of the Count My Vote ballot initiative.
GOP Chairman Rob Anderson says he’s not surprised to see Count My Vote rekindling their efforts to scrap the party caucus-convention system.
“My initial reaction is I totally expected it, and I think now the decision lies within the people,” he says.
Count My Vote filed paperwork on Wednesday to gather signatures for a potential ballot question on direct primaries in 2018. Besides getting rid of caucuses, It would also lower the threshold for candidates collecting signatures to run for elected office.
Anderson says some party members have been resistant to a compromise law, known as S.B. 54, that allowed a dual path to the ballot - via convention or signatures. He says that stalling led them to where they are now.
“We’ll see where the petition goes, and what their outcome is,” he says. “I haven’t talked to them. I don’t know what their actual goal or desire is.”
Anderson says his goal in the short-term is to increase participation in their own caucus conventions next year, but it’s too soon to say what the party’s strategy will be if Count My Vote makes it onto the ballot.