The Utah Republican Party Central Committee met in special session on Saturday to approve a number of resolutions designed to make Utah’s unique caucus system more appealing and accessible to registered Republicans.
The strategy adopted relies heavily on the web and has the potential to turn into an Obamacare signup type fiasco if it is not properly implemented. Should this occur, it will give the rich and powerful elites who are behind the “Count My Vote”, aka “Buy My Vote” initiative a big boost in early 2014.
The stated goal of the Republican reforms is to make neighborhood caucus elections friendly, open to everyone, respectful to all, inspiring, educational and fun—and to do all this in two hours or less.
Technology will play a key role in streamlining and improving the Republican Party’s neighborhood caucus elections.
Under the non-binding resolutions that were quickly passed by the roughly 100 Central Committee members in attendance, each precinct will have its own website.
In certain precincts, Republican Party members will be given the option of registering for their caucus meetings online in order to reduce the time it takes for caucus attendees to check-in. The state Republican Party will develop an online check-in system that ensures that all existing requirements such as voter registration, correct precinct and party affiliation are met.
In addition, those running for delegate and precinct officer positions will be able to register their candidacy online prior to the caucus meetings.
Republicans who cannot attend their neighborhood caucus elections in person will be able to go online and download ballots on the day of the caucus meetings. They will then complete their ballots, provide proof of identity and have individuals attending the caucus meetings deliver their ballots to precinct officers.
Utahns serving out-of-state in the military and on Mormon missions may also be able to vote absentee but the process for that has not been worked out.
Thousands of unpaid, volunteer precinct officials will play a critical role in implementing the proposed reforms.
These precinct officials will have to manage caucus meetings under the new procedures.
They will have to make certain that accurate candidate lists are on the website and that accurate, downloadable ballots are available during the period immediately preceding the neighborhood caucus elections.
In addition, they may have to arrange for computers and internet connectivity at caucus sites.
And, if this weren’t enough, all of these changes will have to be in place before the neighborhood caucus elections take place in March 2014 which gives them and the Party very little time to get a new system in place.
When the neighborhood caucus elections do roll around, the “Buy My Vote” elites and their media allies will be on hand to document and provide incendiary, emotional reports about:
- the senior citizens who claim that they were denied the opportunity to vote in their neighborhood caucus elections because they didn’t have computer access or simply couldn’t navigate the website,
- the single mom with four children under two who wasn’t able to download her ballot,
- the missionaries and members of the military who were overlooked,
- the website glitches,
- the precincts where officials totally botched the entire operation or where they refused to use pre-registration or accept absentee ballots, and
- the angry candidates whose names were not included on the ballots downloaded from the website.
And given the “Church Ball” nature of Utah politics it is entirely possible that efforts will be made to sabotage neighborhood caucus elections by the “Buy My Vote” side.
So, will the reforms be effectively implemented and will they help stave off the big money, elitist “Buy My Vote” juggernaut?
Only time will tell.