Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

March 18, 2014
How does the caucus party system work?

Count My Vote Petitions: Many of you signed “Count My Vote” petitions that would get rid of Utah’s caucus system and require a direct primary.

The first petitions came into the clerk’s office last week for signature verification. But before we could get started, the legislature passed a bill that combines the caucus system with “Count My Vote,” so the petitions won’t be processed. There were many compromises made. Once I know what the final bill does, I will let you know.

Party Caucus explanation: A number of people have asked me how the caucus system works. Let me try to explain. Each precinct is allocated a certain number of delegates. The number is based on the number of votes within the party a precinct has in the last general election. The more votes they have, the more delegates.

During the caucus meeting the precinct chair will review the rules for the caucus. Candidates will be discussed. Nominations will then be taken for the offices of precinct chair, vice chair, secretary, county delegates and the state delegates. The names will be written on the board. The candidates for these offices will be given the opportunity to explain why they should win the election for the office. They may be asked which candidates they support. Each of those offices will be voted upon.

Everyone present in the precinct caucus gets to vote on each of the offices. Candidates with the most votes will “win” the office they are running for. The precinct chair, vice chair and secretary will go on to lead the precinct for the next two years. County delegate(s) will represent their precinct at the county convention. They, and only they, will be able to vote on the candidates who have filed for the county offices up this year.

If a candidate can get a certain percent of the vote (it differs by party), they will win the party nomination and will not be required to have a primary election. If neither candidate gets the required percentage, they will be required to run against each other in a primary election. State delegate(s) follow the same procedure for state candidates.

For dates and locations of 2014 county caucuses, please go to the Tooele County website at

Correction: In my March 6 Clerk’s Corner about practice voting at the Tooele and Grantsville senior centers, the fourth question that stated, “What is your favorite meat served for breakfast at the Senior Center?” contained an error. The correct answer is as follows: 10 percent prefer the ham breakfast, 14 percent prefer the sausage breakfast, and 59 percent prefer the bacon breakfast. I’m sure all of the senior citizens already knew the answer, but I wanted to be sure.


Marilyn K. Gillette is the Tooele County Clerk

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