State Republican and Democratic Party Caucuses are this week. People will gather in neighborhoods across Utah to discuss candidates and issues and to elect their neighborhood delegate. Tuesday is the Democratic Party Caucus. Republicans meet on Thursday. Anna Thompson is the Communications Director for the Democratic Party. She says this is the smallest organizing unit in any election, so it’s very important for everyone to become involved.
Leaders of the Count My Vote initiative say they will continue to move forward with their efforts to replace the party caucuses with direct primaries even after state GOP delegates voted over the weekend to reform the current system.
A group that wants to change Utah’s caucus-convention system for nominating candidates began its campaign this morning. Count My Vote wants to allow candidates to qualify for primary election ballots using petitions signed by voters.
The group’s leaders include former Utah Governor Mike Leavitt and Norma Matheson, the wife of Utah’s last Democratic governor and the mother of Congressman Jim Matheson. She says the current system leaves too many voters out of the nomination process.
While Democrats piece together their own party-specific plans, a Republican group is preparing to file a statewide ballot initiative.
Utah Democratic Party delegates voted last month to keep the caucus and convention system with the understanding that a committee of Democrats would spend the next year studying possible changes to the status quo.