(KCPW News) A bill that would not only improve public notice of Utah’s neighborhood caucus meetings, but block any other public meetings from being held the same day, will go before lawmakers during the upcoming legislative session. Republican Representative Kraig Powell, the bill’s sponsor, calls the neighborhood caucuses Utah’s “real election day.”
“It’s just such an important part of our political process that unfortunately not too many Utahns participate in or know about,” says Powell. “We just need to drastically raise the awareness of those caucus meetings.”
Under the bill, the Lieutenant Governor’s office would be responsible for posting and publishing in advance the dates and times of the neighborhood caucus meetings. Other meetings, like school board or city or county council meetings would not be allowed on those dates.
Powell says it seems Utah will continue with the caucus system for the near future, so the state needs to realize that if voters don’t attend, they’ve essentially been cut out of the political process.
“I don’t know why there has been this mentally that has developed that somehow it’s only a certain type of voter, or certain type of person it Utah that attends the neighborhood caucus. And even if it has been the understanding or the perception in the past, I’m just saying that average Utah citizens need to take the political process back by showing up at the neighborhood caucus in numbers,” says Powell.
The 2012 Utah Legislature begins Monday. The state’s neighborhood caucus meetings are set for mid-March. Democratic Senator Karen Mayne is a co-sponsor of Powell’s bill.
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