The Silver Scribe

Utah’s Primary System Explained

Brett Bolander, Features and News Editor

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The primary election cycle is in full swing, neighborhood caucuses were on March 20th, county and state conventions are in April, and the primary is in June. But what does all that mean?

The first event of the election cycle is the caucus, where attendees appoint delegates from their precinct, usually comprised of only a few neighborhoods, to attend the county and state conventions on their behalf.  Although delegates are the most important position at the precinct level, other positions are voted on as well, including Precinct Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and others.

The Democratic Party allows all eligible voters to participate, while the Republican Party only allows registered Republicans to participate.

The elected delegates from each precinct attend the county and state conventions, where candidates for office are first voted on.

The county convention is reserved for voting on candidates for offices that are entirely within county borders, such as County Sheriff and most state level representatives.

The state convention is where candidates for multi-county races are voted on, including all federal representatives.

The conventions are a way to whittle a party’s candidates down to just two choices.  Any candidate that gets at least 40% of the vote at the convention is placed on the primary ballot.  Candidates can also qualify for the primary ballot by obtaining enough signature from their potential constituents.

The primary elections are where the general voting population votes for their preferred candidates that received enough delegate votes, or signatures, to qualify for the primary ballot.  The candidate with the most votes then becomes the party’s candidate for the general election in November.

“I don’t get why it’s so complicated.” said Victoria Adaire.

Jackson Coy shared her view, saying, “It should be straight forward like other states.”

 

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Utah’s Primary System Explained