ELECTIONS

New ballot initiative aims to change elections in Utah

Jul 26, 2023, 3:00 PM

New ballot initiative in Utah...

FILE - Signs point to the entrance on the last day of early voting before the midterm election as a man walks out of a polling site in Cranston, R.I., on Nov. 7, 2022. Almost half of all voters in the 2022 midterm elections cast their ballots before Election Day either by mail or through early voting, with Asian and Hispanic voters leading the way, new data from the U.S. Census Bureau released Tuesday, May 2, 2023, shows, even as Republican-led states have tightened rules on voting by mail. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

SALT LAKE CITY — Primary elections are just a few weeks away, and a new group wants to bring a new ballot initiative to Utah to change the way elections work.

Currently, the way Utah runs its elections is very similar to what other states do.

Political parties nominate a candidate during their conventions and candidates can also go the signature-gathering route. Then, Utah has a partisan primary election and the winners face off in the general election.

Utah currently has six official parties registered:

  • Constitution Party 
  • Democratic Party
  • Libertarian party 
  • Republican Party 
  • Independent American Party
  • United Utah Party 

Every party has different rules on how their primary elections are run, including the two biggest parties in the state.

Democrats let people who are affiliated with another party, or unaffiliated, vote in their primaries. Republicans only let affiliated voters participate in their primary elections.

Tami Fillmore, executive director for People4Utah, spoke to KSL at Night about the potential ballot initiative of doing away with the party system.

No closed primaries

Fillmore’s ballot initiative wants to do away with the closed primary ballot, like what Utah Republicans have.

“We believe that the basic premise of our beautiful inspired representative democracy is that our representatives are chosen by the constituents,” Fillmore said.

According to Fillmore, this ensures elected officials have to answer to their entire constituency, not just their party.

The group pointed to Article 1, Section 2 of the Utah Constitution to base their arguments, which reads,

“All political power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority for their equal protection and benefit, and they have the right to alter or reform their government as the public welfare may require.”

Fillmore gave a hypothetical of a voter who feels disenfranchised as a long-time Republican and is struggling to make a decision on whether to remove their affiliation or have their vote count.

According to Fillmore, she has heard similar feelings from many other voters.

People4Utah is exploring a proposal for a top two non-partisan open primary.

According to Fillmore, “That means all candidates and all voters, regardless of party affiliation, go to the same primary ballot and vote like they normally would. Then the top two go to a final, regardless of party.”

Fillmore believes this would not manipulate the political makeup of the community.

“If it’s a highly Republican community, then the two finalists might be candidates who identify as Republicans.”

Related:

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Elections

Mail-in ballots being sorted...

Peter Johnston

Utah voters may see delay receiving November mail-in ballots

Due to a state law, some Utah voters could see a delay of 2-3 days in receiving their November mail-in ballots.

9 days ago

Mike Schmidt votes on the morning of the South Carolina Republican primary at Cayce United Methodis...

Kyle Remund

Election confidence in America is falling, what can be done about it?

Election confidence in America has declined significantly in recent years. How low is it and what can be done to help?

10 days ago

Red, white, and blue campaign signs hang on a fence near I-15....

Don Brinkerhoff

Campaign signs are not allowed along roads and on bridges, UDOT says

According to UDOT, inappropriately placed campaign signs can lead to safety hazards for those who post them, remove them, or drive past them.

12 days ago

A Washington County ballot drop box is pictured. Having a winning, or losing, candidate is one reas...

Peter Johnston & Adam Small

Why election trust is down, and how to restore it

Having a winning, or losing, candidate is one reason for declining election trust said the Sutherland Institute.

15 days ago

State leaders say the Utah election security system is strong....

Peter Johnston

How does Utah ensure election security ahead of election season?

Utah leaders say the state's election security system is strong. But how does Utah make sure its elections are secure?

16 days ago

election workers move ballots...

Adam Small

Worries about election integrity taking toll on election workers

Election workers have faced increased criticism since the 2020 election after former President Donald Trump made unfounded claims of voter fraud.

16 days ago

Sponsored Articles

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

New ballot initiative aims to change elections in Utah