Proposed Constitutional Amendment
The following constitutional amendment was presented to the Executive Committee on March 18th. The Executive Committee, on April 7th, approved the amendments for a vote by the delegates at the State Organizing Convention on April 24th, 2021.
The 2021 Utah Legislature passed House Bill 197, prohibiting voters from changing the party affiliation on their voting registration during the three months prior to a primary election.
Voters, who would otherwise be affiliated with the United Utah Party, but who wished to participate in the primary election of another party would be required to change their party affiliation no later than mid-March during an election year. Under the current constitution, this would disqualify the voter from participating as a UUP delegate during the April Convention.
House Bill 197 can have two effects on politics in Utah.
1) It would discourage voters from affiliating with minority parties.
2) It may also effectively place control over selection of nominees, and indeed elected officials, into the hands of ever fewer voters, more tightly closing primary elections. The United Utah Party has consistently called for open primaries.
This constitutional amendment was drafted as a response to this legislation.
This amendment opens the door to new criteria for qualifying voters to be party delegates, by allowing alternate means of defining “party membership”. The alternative means would be studied and discussed and voted on by members of the United Utah Executive Committee over the next 10 months. A change to the Bylaws would need to pass by a 2/3 majority vote of the Executive Committee. Without a change in the Bylaws, this amendment changes nothing.
The yellow highlighted text below is new language to be added to the articles and sections noted. Red text is to be deleted.
For comparison, the full text of the United Utah Party Constitution is found on the Party website here.
United Utah Party Constitution
Article II - Membership
Any registered voter in Utah may join the United Utah Party by affiliating on a Utah voter registration form and submitting it to the State or a County elections office, or by alternate means if stated in the Bylaws.
Article III - Section 8 - Annual State Convention
c) Any voter who is registered in the State of Utah and is as a member of the United Utah Party by a specified deadline prior to an annual convention, is qualified and may apply to participate as a delegate at that annual convention. The deadline shall be announced as described in the Bylaws. Delegates may be required to provide proof of voter registration and party membership affiliation.