POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

Utah House passes bill that would end rank choice voting

Feb 23, 2024, 10:51 AM

Example of ranked choice voting ballot. Twelve cities across Utah will participate in ranked choice...

FILE: This sample ballot from FairVote.org demonstrates what a ranked-choice ballot would look like. (FairVote.org)

(FairVote.org)

SALT LAKE CITY— The full Utah House voted to pass a bill that would take away the option for cities to use ranked choice voting in their municipal elections.

Rep. Katy Hall – R-Salt Lake City, is sponsoring HB 290, which would put an early end to the state’s ranked choice voting pilot program.

The program is currently slated to expire in 2026, after the 2025 municipal elections cycle. This bill would end it before the 2025 elections.

On Thursday, the full House voted to advance the bill. However, the vote was far from unanimous with 43 in favor and 26 voting in opposition.

The arguments on rank choice voting

Hall presented her bill to House lawmakers, outlining some of the reasons she wants to put an early end to the pilot program.

She said she’s received complaints from residents of various Utah cities that have used ranked choice voting that the process is too confusing. Opponents of the bill have also cited instances of people filling out their ballots incorrectly.

Additionally, Hall said cities using ranked choice voting for municipal elections and traditional voting for national elections, one after the other is creating problems.

“This is confusing for voters and leads to disenfranchisement and lower voter confidence,” Hall said.

Hall also cited some ranked choice elections where the winner won with a small percentage of the total population. Supporters also believe, based on the data gathered from these elections, the program doesn’t work.

However, there are many on the other side who don’t agree. For one, Rep. Douglas Welton, R-Payson who’s won a ranked choice election, told House lawmakers why he doesn’t want to ditch the program early.

“This is a local control issue,” Welton said. “If your city doesn’t like it and your constituents have never participated in it, they can overturn the city council every two years.”

Welton, and other lawmakers also advocated for just letting the program play out for one more election before making a decision on the program.

Rep. Brian King, D-Salt Lake City also said ranked choice voting can help prevent candidates from attacking each other and promoting more civil conversations.

The bill will now be assigned to a Senate committee for consideration. It needs approval there, from the full Senate and from the governor by Friday, March 1 to become law.

Related:

We want to hear from you.

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

Politics + Government

Former U.S. President Donald Trump returns to the courtroom after a break on the first day of his t...

JENNIFER PELTZ, MICHAEL R. SISAK and ERIC TUCKER Associated Press

LIVE: First day of Trump hush-money trial ends with no jurors picked

The first criminal trial of any former U.S. president began as Donald Trump vies to reclaim the White House.

17 hours ago

Former President Donald Trump leaves Trump Tower on his way to Manhattan criminal court....

Jennifer Peltz and Michael R. Sisak

Potential jurors called into courtroom for start of Trump’s historic hush-money trial

Former President Donald Trump has arrived at a New York court for the start of jury selection in his hush money case.

1 day ago

Republican presidential candidate, former President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally....

Josh Boak and Jonathan J. Cooper

Trump goes after the judge and prosecutors in his hush money case in last rally before trial begins

Former President Donald Trump spoke about his hush money case at his most recent rally before the trial begins on Monday.

2 days ago

President Joe Biden boarding Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Friday, April 12, 2024, ...

MICHELLE L. PRICE and ZEKE MILLER Associated Press

Biden will meet with his national security team as fears rise of an Iranian strike against Israel

Biden to meet with national security team and monitor the situation in the Middle East after Iran promises retaliation after a suspected Israeli strike that killed 12 people

3 days ago

gabby petito shown, her death inspired a law meant to prevent other domestic violence deaths...

Heather Peterson

“Gabby Petito Act” signed into law in Florida

The "Gabby Petito Act" is similar to a law adopted in Utah last year.

4 days ago

Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson...

Daniel Woodruff

New Utah school safety law earns praise from victims’ families, but cost concerns persist

Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson ceremonially signed HB84 into law during an event Wednesday at the University of Utah.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

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

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.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Utah House passes bill that would end rank choice voting