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Politics & Government

Mitt Romney Supports Count My Vote Initiative

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Photo by Terence Burlij/PBS NewsHour.
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Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks at a town hall event in Dayton, Ohio, on March 3, 2012.

Organizers of The Count My Vote Initiative can now add Mitt Romney to their group of supporters. If passed, the proposal would move Utah to a direct primary election system.  But a bill moving through the legislature could keep the current caucus system intact.

Former Utah Governor Mike Leavitt is one of the key supporters of the Count My Vote initiative. He is also a long time friend of former presidential candidate Mitt Romney. In a recent email between the two, Romney writes that he and his wife, Ann, are supporters of the initiative and that Leavitt can count on financial support from the couple as well. Count My Vote Executive Chair Rich McKeown says Romney’s experience with elections should make his opinion valuable to voters and legislators.

“This is a person how has been through it, has seen it, has felt it, and who has come away with lessons learned and opinions about the best and fairest way to elect people," he says. "So I think it’s very important that he would suggest that he’s joining in support of Count My Vote.”

Romney also wrote that the legislature’s attempt to exempt political parties from the potential effects of Count My Vote with SB54 smacks of self-interest and feels very wrong.

That bill’s sponsor, Provo Republican Senator Curt Bramble, says his proposal is the ultimate compromise and gives Count My Vote backers what they originally wanted. The group Protect Our Neighborhood Elections has also filed a complaint with the Lt. Governor’s office claiming that Count My Vote has violated several rules and misinformed people to get them to sign their petition. The Lt. Governor is currently reviewing those claims. 

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