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The Signatures Are In: Utahns Will Vote On 3 Ballot Initiatives

Julia Ritchey

Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox on Tuesdayannounced the qualifying statewide ballot initiatives for the November election, with half of the original six petitions getting enough signatures to appear on the ticket.

Voters this fall will get to decide on legalization of medical marijuana and full Medicaid expansion. They’ll also weigh in on the proposed creation of an independent redistricting commission to oversee lawmakers when they draw new political maps in 2020.  

Those three citizen-led ballot measures met the required signature thresholds in 26 of 29 counties. But Utahns will not get to choose to solidify the state’s dual pathway to the primary ballot for candidates, after the Count My Vote initiative was derailed by opponents.

“We’ve anticipated this potential and are prepared to move forward aggressively," said Rich McKeown, executive co-chairman of Count My Vote.


He said a coordinated campaign by conservative delegates to get voters to remove their signatures appears to have been successful.

Nearly 3,000 voters removed their signatures from the Count My Vote petition, putting them under the threshold by three counties.

“The effort that they’ve gone through to take signatures off is really an effort to deprive Utah voters of a chance to vote on this," said McKeown.

McKeown said they intend to appeal the decision to the Utah Supreme Court.

That’s not the only initiative that could end up in court. Opponents of the the medical marijuana measure have already sued to try to keep the issue off the ballot.



Credit Office of Lieutenant Governor



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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