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Ranked-choice voting bill enters legislature amid election doubt

Jan 25, 2022, 11:32 AM

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Voter drops off ballot on the 2021 Municipal election day. Photo: Mengshin Lin, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Two lawmakers are sponsoring a bill to expand ranked-choice voting in local and state elections in the Beehive state.

Representative Mike Winder (R – West Valley City) and Senator Curtis Bramble (R – Provo) are attempting to push a voting bill through the legislature. 

The bill, HB127, would expand ranked-choice voting to certain primary elections for state or county office.

If the bill passes, ranked-choice voting would be used in primary elections for all local and state races where the number of candidates participating exceeds the number of candidates that can be nominated by two or more. 

How ranked-choice voting works

Lawmakers employed ranked-choice voting in the 2021 municipal elections.

In some cities, voters had the ability to rank candidates. With ranked-choice voting, when there is not a majority vote for a candidate, the candidate with the lowest number of first choice votes is eliminated from the running and votes are tallied again. 

READ MORE: Ranked-choice voting coming to some Utah cities

New ranked-choice voting bill amid election skepticism 

In his State of the State speech, Governor Spencer Cox made a point to address election skepticism. Governor Cox rebuked those in Utah who question election integrity. He affirmed the safety of elections in Utah.

Both the governor’s address of the public and the sponsorship of the ranked-choice voting bill come weeks after the anniversary of the January 6 attack on the Capitol. The event reflected the sentiments of many across the nation, that U.S. elections are not secure, or even that results have been fraudulent. 

READ MORE: “Work on what matters to America,” says Cox in State of the State

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Ranked-choice voting bill enters legislature amid election doubt