Count My Vote compromise passes House and Senate, awaits Governor's signature

- SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) – The Count My Vote compromise bill hit the House floor Wednesday where it met some spirited opposition, but still passed in the end.

House Sponsor, Representative Daniel McCay went back in time to the founding fathers to set the stage.

"I learned, much like Madison that when sides come together you can get some of what you want and some of what you don't want," said McCay, ( R ) Riverton.

A revised SB 54 is considered a compromise between those wanting to save the caucus and convention system and those pushing for a direct primary.

It preserves the current system while providing a direct path to the ballot as a party candidate.

Sponsors also hope it will encourage more participation by offering absentee and off sight voting.

It will also include unaffiliated voters.

"An opportunity for a state that is dominated by a single party to reach out and grab more people," said McCay.

Not everyone is buying that pitch though.

Representative Rich Cunningham spoke out in opposition, questioning the tactics of Count My Vote.

"I think it is our responsibility to not be pressured by lobbyists, outside groups or anybody else," said Cunningham, ( R ) South Jordan.

Representative Jon Stanard also pushed for a no vote, saying it will lead to Count My Vote getting its way.

"What we are doing is causing the death of the caucus and convention system. Within a number of years it will not exist if we pass this bill," said Stanard, ( R ) St. George.

In the end the opposition failed to persuade enough support, the bill passed by a vote of 49 to 20.

The new, amended version is even drawing praise from outside groups that once opposed the original bill.

"It’s a good lesson for the public to watch this and say you know, actually you can compromise. Not everybody is happy," said Alliance for a Better Utah Executive Director, Maryann Martindale.

After passing the House the bill went immediately to the Senate where the amendments were approved 21 to 7.

It’s now off to the Governor for his signature.

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