Group rallies to preserve the election process

- SALT LAKE CITY, (ABC 4 Utah) – A local group is rallying to preserve the election process in Utah.

They are taking aim at an effort to let voters decide if the state should change to a direct primary election system.

“Let’s keep our unique, dual track caucus/ primary system that has allowed our state to be the best managed state and the best place to do business,” exclaimed Kris Kimball from the steps of the Capitol.

Kimball is a member of the group, Protect our Neighborhood Elections”, fellow member, Aaron Gabrielson says he’s fighting for the current system, because it opens the door to candidates who otherwise would not have the resources to run.

“It will be the richest man wins, that’s it, that’s the way it is in other states. You can’t even get into the ballpark without a million bucks in your bank account,” said Gabrielson.

As a resident of Wasatch County, he also fears the rural voice would be silenced in a primary.

“Governor Herbert, he comes to Wasatch County, Jason Chaffetz comes to Wasatch County and even though there aren’t as many votes there the delegates are the reason they are coming, because they are accountable to those delegates,” said Gabrielson.

The group is fighting an effort by Count My Vote, a citizen initiative to petition the question onto the ballot.

Executive Director, Taylor Morgan says a direct primary is about giving every Utahn a voice, not just a handful of delegates.

“The current system is the most exclusionary, the most restrictive system in the nation. Utah voters are simply excluded from the system, they don’t have a voice in choosing their candidate,” said Morgan.

That’s why his group wants voters to have the final say.

“Whether you support what we are doing or not, we would ask you to sign the petition, so all voters can decide how they want to choose their candidates,” said Morgan.

Count my vote needs to collect 120,000 signatures by April, 2014 to get the initiative on the ballot for November, 2014.

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