The next session of the Utah legislature is months away but State Representative Curt Webb, R-District 5, says right now we are hearing about a more-than-usual number of initiatives that could end up on the ballot.
Among those already mentioned are the Count My Vote initiative and one to make medical marijuana legal.
Webb says some people see initiatives as a way to make law directly.
“Initiative law gives a chance for the people to try and make law directly,” Webb explains. “It’s drawbacks are that they write the language and that language is what the people vote on. That language becomes law.
“There is not an opportunity really, if it passes, to make amendments, and debate those amendments and come to a palatable solution like we do in the legislature.”
He says it is allowed and it should be there but, in his opinion, an initiative is not a good way to make law.
Proponents of the Count My Vote petition drive that would, if passed, move Utah’s nominating process to a direct primary are reportedly almost ready to launch their newest campaign. Some changes have been made since the original effort and under the new drive there would be no caucus or convention system.
Webb does not support Count My Vote. He says he did support SB54 which is an alternative path to the ballot.
“I think that was a good compromise,” says Webb. “I think what they are proposing is to do away with the party participation completely, where…the only path to the ballot is only through signatures.
“I would hope that the people of the state would want the two alternatives and let the parties keep their ability to send a candidate.”
The Count My Vote group says they are trying again because of the constant attacks on the SB54 compromise reached with legislators late in the 2014 session.