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Utah GOP's Strategy On Count My Vote? Wait And See

Lieutenant Governor's Office / Twitter
The application for Count My Vote's ballot initiative.

The chair of Utah’s Republican party says it will now be up to the public to decide on a direct primary system after the re-launching of the Count My Vote ballot initiative.

GOP Chairman Rob Anderson says he’s not surprised to see Count My Vote rekindling their efforts to scrap the party caucus-convention system.

“My initial reaction is I totally expected it, and I think now the decision lies within the people,” he says.  

Count My Vote filed paperwork on Wednesday to gather signatures for a potential ballot question on direct primaries in 2018. Besides getting rid of caucuses, It would also lower the threshold for candidates collecting signatures to run for elected office.

Anderson says some party members have been resistant to a compromise law, known as S.B. 54, that allowed a dual path to the ballot - via convention or signatures. He says that stalling led them to where they are now.

“We’ll see where the petition goes, and what their outcome is,” he says. “I haven’t talked to them. I don’t know what their actual goal or desire is.”

Anderson says his goal in the short-term is to increase participation in their own caucus conventions next year, but it’s too soon to say what the party’s strategy will be if Count My Vote makes it onto the ballot.


Julia joined KUER in 2016 after a year reporting at the NPR member station in Reno, Nev. During her stint, she covered battleground politics, school overcrowding, and any story that would take her to the crystal blue shores of Lake Tahoe. Her work earned her two regional Edward R. Murrow awards. Originally from the mountains of Western North Carolina, Julia graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2008 with a degree in journalism. She’s worked as both a print and radio reporter in several states and several countries — from the 2008 Beijing Olympics to Dakar, Senegal. Her curiosity about the American West led her to take a spontaneous, one-way road trip to the Great Basin, where she intends to continue preaching the gospel of community journalism, public radio and podcasting. In her spare time, you’ll find her hanging with her beagle Bodhi, taking pictures of her food and watching Patrick Swayze movies.
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