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Herbert: Count My Vote Reversal On Caucus System ‘A Good Move’


Gov. Gary Herbert hinted support for a proposed ballot initiative on how candidates can get themselves on the ballot.

Herbert has normally avoided commenting on ballot initiatives. But at Thursday’s monthly KUED news conference, he called it “a good move” for Count My Vote organizers to rethink their opposition to the caucus system.

Herbert said as a Republican, he’s always supported the caucus-convention system, where neighborhood delegates elect party candidates.

But the governor said he understands why voters complain that delegates don’t always reflect public opinion.

“Rather than have a delegate that goes to a caucus and says to their neighbors, ‘what do you want me to represent? Who do you like as a candidate? What are the philosophies and policies you want me to support?’ Now they go there and say, ‘I’m here for one purpose only: to get my candidate elected,’” he said.

The governor said he believes in keeping the original compromise born out of SB54. It allows candidates to skip the caucus and get on the ballot directly by gathering signatures.   

“It will encourage us to have more primaries, so there will be more opportunities for people to vote and be part of the selection process,” he said.

One example is Utah’s new congressman-elect, John Curtis. He failed badly at the Republican nominating convention, but got on the primary ballot anyway by gathering signatures. Though he was rejected by delegates, Curtis won the general election on Tuesday.  

Nicole Nixon holds a Communication degree from the University of Utah. She has worked on and off in the KUER Newsroom since 2013, when she first joined KUER as an intern. Nicole is a Utah native. Besides public radio, she is also passionate about beautiful landscapes and breakfast burritos.
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