Why Change Utah's Election System?
Utah's caucus system hinders participation
- The structure of a state's election system can either hinder or encourage voter participation.
- Utah's historically high rate of voter participation has declined in recent decades.
- From 1960 to 1998, Utah's turnout was always above the national average. Since 1998, Utah's turnout has been near or below the national average.
- In 1960, over 78% of Utah voters went to the polls. In 2012, only 51% of Utah's voting age population cast a ballot, ranking Utah 39th nationally in voter turnout.
Utah's caucus system is the most restrictive system in the nation
- Utah is one of only a few states that still use a convention.
- Of the states that still use a convention, Utah has the highest barrier for candidates - 40% of party delegates' votes (Colorado - 30%, Connecticut - 15%, New Mexico 20%, North Dakota - endorsement only).
- Utah is the only state in which a political party is allowed to preclude a primary election for statewide or Congressional offices.
Utah's caucus system is exclusionary and unfair
- Party delegates are elected at party caucus meetings held once every 2 years.
- Attending this single meeting in person is the only way voters can choose a delegate.
- Utahns who are out of town, sick, have to work, cannot leave children, or are serving in the military are excluded.
- Groups such as women and younger voters are marginalized and disenfranchised.
Utah's caucus system is least accountable to Utah voters
- Utah's elected leaders are more concerned with making policies supported by party delegates than policies supported by Utah voters.
- Party delegates and activists have different priorities than voters and do not represent the views of average Utahns.
- Utah's system gives the most power and influence to those with the most extreme views.
- Utah Foundation Research Report: Nominating Candidates The Politics and Process of Utah’s Unique Convention and Primary System