Count My Vote

This year’s election is the first time candidates have been able to gain access to the primary ballot by gathering signatures. And while only a few candidates took advantage of the alternative path, that choice has not gone over well with some Republican leaders.

Brian Grimmett

Rep. Kraig Powell, R-Heber, is the only sitting legislator that has chosen to just gather signatures in his effort to be re-elected. But as the Utah Republican Party fights the state over the constitutionality of the law that allows him to do that, his status as a member of the party remains in limbo.

Utah Supreme Court Clarifies Meaning Of SB54

Apr 8, 2016
Brian Grimmett

The Utah Supreme Court has issued an opinion clarifying the meaning of recent changes to Utah’s election laws.

Judge Rules Against Utah GOP in SB54 Lawsuit

Apr 6, 2016
Brian Grimmett

A federal judge has ruled against the Utah Republican Party in its lawsuit over changes to Utah election law. 

Brian Grimmett

The Utah Supreme Court heard arguments from the Utah Republican and Democratic Parties Monday over who gets to decide how a candidate can get on a primary ballot.

Brian Grimmett

The Utah Republican Party once again argued against an alternative path to the primary ballot in federal court Monday. 

Brian Grimmett

A federal judge issued an order last week indicating that the signature thresholds called for in Utah’s election laws are too high. With a few days left in the legislative session, one lawmaker has just introduced a bill to address that problem.

View From The Gallery: Week 4

Feb 19, 2016

Week four marks the half way point of the Utah Legislative session, but lawmakers seem to be stuck on repeat.

Lawmaker Wants to Repeal SB54 Compromise

Feb 15, 2016
Brian Grimmett

A freshman legislator in the Utah House of Representatives is trying to undo the Count My Vote compromise the legislature passed two years ago. 

Candidates To Begin Gathering Signatures January 4th

Dec 28, 2015
Brian Grimmett

Starting Monday January 4th, people wanting to run for political office in Utah will be able to start gathering signatures. And while significant questions about the process still remain, the state elections office is ready to move forward.

Judge Pushes for Mediation Talks in SB54 Lawsuit

Sep 9, 2015

The political parties involved in a lawsuit against SB54 are once again attempting to find a settlement with the state, this time using a mediator.

Is GOP Infighting Sign of a Larger Divide?

Sep 3, 2015
Brian Grimmett

Utah Republican Party Chairman James Evans is accusing Republican State Senator Todd Weiler of encouraging some donors to stop giving money to the party. Weiler denies those allegations, but the incident is a very public representation of a divide that’s growing among members of the Utah GOP over how the party chooses its candidates.

Utah’s 2016 Primary elections will be different than they’ve been in the past, and the Lt. Governor’s office is beginning their campaign to tell parties, voters, and candidates what they need to know. 

Brian Grimmett

The Utah Legislature is beginning to take a look at how to address the potential plurality issue in primary elections.

A federal judge has denied an injunction against the controversial election reform law known as SB54.

Brian Grimmett

The Utah Republican Party’s attempts to delay the County My Vote compromise did not survive the legislative session.

View From the Gallery - Week 5

Feb 27, 2015

It only took 5 weeks, but the legislature has turned it up to 11 and has started to move through some important legislation at break neck speeds.

Brian Grimmett

The Utah Senate defeated a bill on Tuesday that would have delayed the implementation of the Count My Vote Compromise.

Brian Grimmett

The Utah Senate has given preliminary approval to placing a constitutional amendment on the 2016 ballot that would affirm the right of political parties to establish their own election process.

Brian Grimmett / KUER

A legislative committee has voted in favor of two pieces of legislation that would impact the implementation of the so-called Count My Vote compromise made last year.

Terry Gildea/KUER


The Utah Republican Party released a poll over the weekend that shows a majority of voters favor a legal challenge to SB54. That’s the bill approved by the legislature and signed into law last year that will modify the state’s system for nominating political candidates. 

Utah AG Sean Reyes Recuses Himself From Defending SB54

Dec 22, 2014
Brian Grimmett

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes has recused himself from being involved with the state’s defense of SB54.

SB54 makes changes to Utah election law and allows candidates to bypass the caucus/convention system and appear on a primary ballot by gathering signatures from registered voters. The Utah Republican Party is suing the state over those changes because they say that it’s unconstitutional for a state to dictate to a party how they choose candidates.

Brian Grimmett

The Utah Republican Party is now saying that they don’t have enough time to make the changes called for in the County My Vote compromise legislation, known as SB54.

Utah GOP Chairman James Evans says SB54 does not give his party long enough to change its bylaws and constitution to fit the new definition of a qualified political party.

Utah Democrats stand behind a 2014 law that amends the state’s caucus and convention system. Meanwhile, the Republican Party has filed a lawsuit challenging its constitutionality.

Senate Bill 54 was a last minute compromise between Democrats, Republicans and representatives of the County My Vote initiative. It preserves Utah’s caucus and convention system and provides an alternative path for candidates to get their names on the primary election ballot.

Utah GOP to File Lawsuit Challenging SB54

Nov 26, 2014
Brian Grimmett

Leaders of the Utah State Republican Party are filing a lawsuit challenging the legality of  SB 54. The legislation passed this year changes the state’s caucus/convention system for nominating political candidates.

In a statement sent to KUER, Utah Republican Party Chairman James Evans says the lawsuit should be seen as a friendly attempt to clarify the Constitutional boundaries between the state and political parties. He argues that the state should not be able to tell individual political parties how to elect their candidates.

A leader of the Count My Vote initiative says he’s concerned the legislature is positioning itself to destroy the intent of a compromise bill, known as SB 54, passed during the last legislative session.

GOP delegates passed a resolution at Saturday’s state convention to defend the caucus and convention system. The issue likely forced one incumbent Senator into a primary election.

By a show of hands, delegates opposed changes the state legislature made this year to the nominating process – a compromise between supporters of the Count My Vote initiative, who want a direct primary election and backers of the caucus and convention system. But delegates like Michael Willson, say it violates the right of the party to exercise political speech.

Count My Vote Compromise Heads to Governor’s Desk

Mar 5, 2014

The Utah legislature has approved a compromise solution between the backers of a direct primary system and those who want to preserve the current caucus-convention system.

Members of the House Government Operations Committee voted this morning to advance a newly-minted compromise between legislators and organizers of the Count My Vote ballot initiative. But several members of the committee say they won’t support the bill when it reaches the House Floor. 

Compromise Announced on Count My Vote

Mar 2, 2014
Dan Bammes

Leaders of the Count My Vote ballot initiative appeared with legislative leaders at a rare Sunday news conference to announce a compromise on the effort to replace Utah’s caucus-convention system for nominating political candidates.

The deal preserves the caucus system, but it also allows candidates to get on a primary election ballot by gathering voter signatures on a petition – from one thousand for a legislative seat to 28-thousand for a statewide office such as governor.